DEFCAD offers the only legal means for accessing 3D firearms technical data on the
Internet. This data is distributed as free and
open-source software (FOSS) not just as a way of opposing the modern state, but because it is a superior way to develop software in the first place. Because our communities can sometimes forget FOSS norms, and because we could all use a little correction from time to time, DEFCAD has published a companion guide to open source development and philosophy as applied to 3D firearm
design. Take a few minutes to refresh yourself and your friends on the practices that make our movement work.
Bullpups & Scarab Deux
File time. One of the best organizations in guncad, Are We Cool
Yet?, has improved on prior attempts at emulating a TP-9 with
VMAC9 parts kit in the form of The Scarab V2.0. This design cuts away all the excess
material and comes with various options for lower receivers and stocks. This is one of the most polished 9MM kit guns available today, and
it could just be the final say in printable VMAC9 kits.
Bullpups both new and old live at DEFCAD. Warfairy's prototype
Bullpup Receiver explores the question of how simple and robust a
group system can be. We like how the upper receiver is joined, and we beleive it will serve as an inspirational design for many other platforms. Ketcham1009 recently released the BPAR-15
which takes a simplified and heavily reinforced approach to merging an AR-15 upper
receiver with a printable lower. The design offers functionality for AR-9 and Kentri
3.5" short buffer systems, which we believe makes it a tempting design to play with. This
release also includes updates for use with the mighty popular Super Safety.
Jessica Solce's documentary Death
Athletic released today on Amazon, iTunes and directly from the filmmaker herself! A meditation on techno-political dissidence, seven years in the
making, Jessica has captured the definitive account of the origins and purposes of the global 3D gun movement. Jessica Solce and Cody Wilson have recently appeared on shows like Your Welcome
with Michal Malice to discuss the release.
Not merely an archival service, DEFCAD pays most of the serious developers in the 3D gun space. Our
sponsorship program helps part time or full time designers offset their costs, profit from releasing their designs open source, and has been enjoyed by dozens of developers for years. Any downloads credited to your authorship (be it 3D
printed gun files, reference models, books or blueprints) earn a percentage of the total value of the site's download that month, payable directly to you or the organization of your choice.
Sponsored DEFCAD partners are not required to be members of LEGIO or DD, and are not required to pass any tests or provide
any personal information to begin uploading and earning. Our program is the only one that pays international developers as well. So it's simple. If you'd like to learn more, check out our Partnership
Form and get paid to join the fight.
Choosing Your Material
This is a continuation of a series covering the most relevant settings and
considerations for 3DP as it relates to DIY Defense, ranging from infill and printer
selection, to post processor settings and part treatment.
One of the most important considerations for any 3DP project, and one that determines the
majority of printer settings, is the choice of material to be printed. In DIY Defense the majority of projects are built around the assumption that
end users will be doing some form of fused deposition modeling (FDM) with one of a
few types of thermoplastic. After many years of trial-and-error and
advancements in the available consumer grade plastics market, only a few have come out as
clearly suitable canditates for use in this space: PLA+, Nylon, and TPU. Since some of the
projects hosted on DEFCAD are subject to extremes in temperature, pressure, and sudden
impacts, it's important to understand the properties and limitations of your chosen
We'll start off with the updated formula for Polylactic Acid (PLA+). There's much to
say in favor of PLA+, but the most important consideration is that it is one of the
easiest materials to work with if you are not familiar with 3D printing. The temperature
range for working with the material is achievable with stock Ender 3's, it is incredibly
affordable, and very forgiving in terms of curing or adhering to the printer bed. The market is full of options for PLA+, and standard slicer presets tend to work
out-of-the-box with it. Unfortunately, in terms of ultimate tensile strength,
temperature stability, rigidity, and over all reliability, PLA+ is outclassed by
Nylon (Polyaniline 6 and 12) has been a manufacturing staple for over a century, but it
is not a thermoplastic that can be used with most low-end 3D printers without extensive
modification. It requires a direct drive hot end, draft resistant enclosure, some form
of material dryer, and a heated bed at a bare minimum to work with. Nylon is also not a
material that works well with "set and forget" attitudes since it has a
tendency to disengage from the printer bed and curl. With all this in mind, this will still likely be the material of choice for any part of your project that will
experience shocks or changes in temperature.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is worth mentioning since it is an extremely
flexible material with excellent shock absorption. Its inherent elasticity makes it more
difficult to work with than PLA+, but it is superior for specific use cases. Essentially
anything that needs to be soft (grip exteriors and recoil pads, to name two) or is expected
to wear down and be replaced frequently, is where TPU shines.
So what is the best material to use? The difficult conditions of DIY defense projects might at first admit an easy answer: Nylon (PLA+ can still be used for firearm
accessories without much concern for material failure). However, at twice the cost of
PLA+ and requiring significantly more effort to achieve satisfactory builds, we
recommended using PLA+ with non-defense related projects until you are more comfortable with
3D printing as a whole. It's always best to start
working with projects meant to gauge how well setup your machine is. The late developer Freeman1337's
Calibration Cube comes to mind.
US Army Engineering Handbook Series
DEFCAD has no shortage of written print materials, ranging from blueprints and manuals,
to guides and design workbooks. This week we highlight a DTIC selection from the United
States Army walking through its declassified small-arms design philosophy and technical
requirements. The series includes a general overview, automatic weapons, interior
ballistics, gun tubes, and muzzle devices. These are well-structured
combine concise explanations and standard operating procedures with the
necessary mathematics for creating world class armaments. This selection is from mid-60's, but outside of recent textbooks on ballistics we find this to be one of the most
relevant texts for working with or designing modern small arms.
3D Printing on a B-Axis
We'd like to call attention to a major development in the 3D printing space that may lend new powers in DIY Defense. Humphrey Wittingtonsworth IV, known for his
space age 22lr pistol, the Humphrey Drum Revolver, released a video this week detailing
an experimental b-axis on a 3D printer which is capable of fabricating progressive twist
barrels, springs, screws, and rods (to name just a few use cases).
HWIV has replaced
the bed with a motor-driven rod and resin sleeve to enable cylindrical printing. His
personal take is that this may make powerful and clean prints
in a manner just not achievable on a standard printer setup. We recommend you subscribe to his
and watch for updates as he prepares releases.