Police seize what could be 3D-printed gun parts

Police in England seized what they initially thought were parts of a 3D printed gun Friday, but now they’re not so sure.

A press release from the Greater Manchester Police reported law enforcement had found "a 3D printer and what is suspected to be a 3D plastic magazine and trigger, which could be fitted together to make a viable 3D gun."

But hold on, coppers. The Internet isn’t so sure.

A commenter on The Verge points out these "gun parts" look a lot like upgrades to MakerBot's Replicator 2 3D Printer.

The commenter says the "magazine" looks like part of the filament spool holder. The "trigger," he says, could go to the machine's extruder. (Via Greater Manchester PoliceThingiverse / spencersThingiverse / jeremrem)

He's not the only one to question the bust. A second statement from police clarified the parts needed further examination. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said in a statement, "What we have seized are items that need further forensic testing by national ballistics experts to establish whether they can be used in the construction of a genuine, viable firearm." (Greater Manchester Police)

Beyond the examination, police are also reportedly searching recovered computers to see if they contain 3D-gun files.

If they do, it is not clear from these images what design they might belong to. (Via Greater Manchester Police)

Could it be the Liberator pistol? The 3D-printed gun earned media attention after this video showed it successfully firing. (Via YouTube / Defense Distributed)

The U.S. Department of Defense ordered the Texas company that created the gun to remove its blueprints from the Internet, but it was too late: Enthusiasts downloaded the plans more than 100,000 times before the files were taken down. (Via Mashable)

Coincidentally, two of the original Liberator pistols were purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. They were put on display last month as part of a design exhibit.

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