AK-3DP: 3D printed AK receiver

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/21/fingerless-enthusiasm.html


Those are still some devastating round counts, 120+ rounds is too much for an unregulated weapon of war.


I don’t know anything about guns, so I had to look up what “receiver” means in that context. My initial thought when I read the headline was that this had something to do with radio technology (oh silly, naïve me). So, for anybody else as clueless about firearms as I am: it’s basically the weapon’s chassis*.

*ETA: Apparently, there is some other gun component with the name “chassis”, so the receiver is not actually the chassis of the rifle. Perhaps a better way to describe it would be the “body”?


This is an amazing tech, unfortunately humans are using it to murder other humans, and that gun is for that purpose only, to take life…


This genie is almost out of the bottle for good. In the near future when 3d printing is slightly more robust and reliable and the plans for printed firearms refined sufficiently, there will simply be no way to prevent people from manufacturing guns like this. We’d better make our peace with it, because not liking the future doesn’t keep it from happening.


3D printing the business parts of firearms seems like a complicated way to reach for that Darwin award.




Yes but with an important qualifier: it’s the part of a gun that has a serial number and is required to be registered in America.

For an AR15 it’s hard to even know that what you’re looking at is, legally, treated as a gun.

That + $700 in “lower” and “upper” parts (none of which need to be registered) = something that goes bang.


Sup. This is Ivan, who actually designed and tested the receiver in question.

It has never “basically shattered” while I’ve been shooting it, as you claim. I’m a fairly easy person to ask questions of - I try to make myself pretty available - why didn’t you just ask me what the failure mode was instead of making something up?

The receiver fails due to fatigue cracking - a slow, gradual failure that doesn’t result in “shattering” as you said.

The current iteration of the reciver is at 1150 rounds on the front receiver and 800 on the rear, and reliably feeds and ejects under rapid fire.


In other ghost gun news.

Of course, it wasn’t an AK. But like a 3D printed AK, it didn’t have a serial number.


Oh you poor sweet summer child - you haven’t seen anything yet.

Thanks for joining!

Can you clarify how much of the rifle is made using a 3D printer, how much is made out of non-gun parts, and how much is standard rifle parts? Ie., I’m presuming the barrel is a standard barrel for the rifle, but the receiver is 3D printed? :slight_smile:

I think a lot of people are more afraid of this than they should be, and I am still optimistic that more knowledge will help that. You’re doing a lot of interesting work and I’ve seen sporadic updates on your progress online and it is very interesting! :slight_smile:



The receiver is 3D printed, and uses some metal fasteners (screws/pins) that are generic.

The rest of the gun comes from a destroyed AMD65 that had its parts imported to the US.

Because of how Federal law works, only the receiver (the core of the gun, if you will) is considered a gun - the other parts are just parts.

People’s fear of 3D printers is misplaced - while they have a lot to offer the home gunsmith (especially in making magazine, receivers, and frames), it’s always been possible to make guns - 3D printers just make some aspects cheaper and easier to make.


A while ago somebody on a gunsmithing forum showed off how he made an AK receiver out of an ordinary steel snow shovel. 3D printing is nigh effete by comparison.

1 Like

It’s a whole lot easier to print an AK reciever than make one from a shovel.


Let’s be honest here, 3D printers haven’t changed a thing about this, aside from repeating the work that Luty did with a trip to the hardware store.


Yes you can gunsmith your own guns, but if you manufacture an acutal reciever the old fashioned way and try to sell it you’ll run afoul of ATF. No one is scared of the fact that you’re making recievers by 3d printing them for the shooters safety. It’s that you’re working to make it easy manufacture a powerful weapon outside of the normal channels of regulation. we dont regulate who can buy a 3d printer but we do regulate who can buy a firearm. You’re circumventing that process, I can see no rational reason why you’d need to be able to cheaply and easily manufacture your own reciever for repair purposes. Colt doesn’t have a quality problem and you can buy readily as long as you aren’t in one of the prohibited 8 categories.


Can the makers of 3D printing material – the three-dimensional plastic ink that goes in a three-dimensional printer, if you will – be regulated to only release it at a tensile strength or hardness that won’t allow for the successful operation or firing of a bullet? Because 3D printed guns are only intellectually interesting exercises until somebody gets shot with one, and then they’re just a gun.

PS anyone who says they have a right to make and manufacture their own printed gun because constitution can go and eat my forehead.

1 Like

But gunsmithing is a reasonably specialized skill. Given the ready availability of factory-produced firearms, I suspect most people reasonably assume that most homebrew gunsmiths are less likely to themselves be loose cannons, and to have an legal incentive to keep track of the guns they build. What most who are concerned about 3D printed guns worry about is anyone with access to an increasingly common 3D printer could print on demand an untraceable firearm.

I’m personally less immediately concerned because I don’t see how anything made from plastics is going to stand up to repeated kinetic energy from the primer and propellant. I mean, even your receivers fail after a while and they’re not even in direct contact with the bullet when it fires.

So my question is: what’s the motivation when you can buy a safer more durable firearm almost anywhere in the US? Just to solve a puzzle? I’m assuming you’re in the US since you cite US Federal law. Is the goal to make firearms available to those who would not be able to legally buy them?


You can extrude your own plastic into filament, if you’re crafty. You don’t need to buy it. You can build a 3d printer that prints in any medium: plastic, concrete, hummus. You can reverse the manufacturing process and build a CNC that cuts any material. You could cut a gun receiver out of a solid block of steel if you wanted to. Or cheese. 3d printing is cheaper, though, than CNC.

The point is that there is no stopping or regulating this genie that is out of its bottle.