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Can the average person print a 3D gun?

CHICAGO -- While some 3D printers are easy to buy and are getting cheaper, that doesn’t mean people will be able to print a gun in their kitchens.

Dylan Lynch of UIC’s Engineering said, “I think the average person would struggle to run a 3D printer right now.  They are not super expense but they are not easy to use either they take some training.”

Lynch is a fourth year chemical engineering grad student at UIC College of Engineering, who helps to run the university’s Makerspace, where engineering students can come to 3D print homework and other projects.  He says it takes a lot of training to run a 3D printer.  It’s something even engineering students have trouble with.

“I had friends that tried them and printed them to varying levels of success, personally I would not trust my life something made of plastic that way, I would not but a firework in my hand, I would not trust it,” he said.

Lynch said it’s not impossible to make a 3D printed gun, but there are issues, including the heat the gun creates, the fragility of the materials, and the risk of explosion.