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.
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.