A little more than a year ago, the world was taken by storm when Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed released a 3-D printable file of The Liberator, a .380 single-shot pistol, that could be made with a consumer plastic 3-D printer. At the time, Wilson sparked a heated debate around the proliferation of 3-D printing and gun control -- or lack thereof -- depending on where citizens stood on the issue. Since then, Stratasys-owned (NASDAQ:SSYS) Solid Concepts produced the world's first metal 3-D printed handgun, a .45 caliber 1911 pistol, using direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS, 3-D printing technology.

Solid Concepts

This handgun was 3-D printed.  Source: Solid Concepts.

Considering that Stratasys' Solid Concepts holds a federal firearms license, it's clearly not trying to stretch the existing framework of the law. Instead, Stratasys' Solid Concepts was more interested in 3-D printing a 1911 handgun for the purpose of demonstrating that DMLS is a highly capable 3-D printing technology. With more than 4,500 rounds fired, Stratasys' Solid Concepts has proven that DMLS-produced parts can be used for mission-critical applications.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Scott McGowan, vice president of marketing at Solid Concepts, to share his thoughts around the continued proliferation of 3-D printing, and the implications it may have on gun control. Going forward, Stratasys and 3-D printing investors should be aware that regulations could hurt overall adoption rates should the technology advance in terms of capabilities and affordability.

Steve Heller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.