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Concerns about the ability of those with evil intent being able to “print” their own guns at home have been allayed somewhat by the limited success of the first printed gun. Several problems have emerged during the evaluation of the first production model.
One problem is firing delay. It takes a minimum of 20 seconds from pressing the trigger to the shot being fired and this is accompanied by a series of strange whirring and clunking noises making discrete use of the gun impossible. Reliability is also a concern. If the gun has not been fired for a couple of hours it will simply not produce a bullet at the end of the barrel. (This can be cured by soaking the gun in boiling water overnight to remove the sticky deposits from the nozzles in the magazine.) Printer users will recognise the cartridge life problem. Typically gun-printer cartridges will last just long enough to nearly complete a gun and when you come to replace them the refills (£129.99 for monochrome guns and £399.99 for a full colour set)are more expensive than the printer. Printed gun users have difficulty removing ink-like stains from their trigger fingers after firing the gun. These stains are visible for up to three days in spite of repeated washing and rinsing leaving the gun user open to simple detection.
Industry experts do not expect any of these problems to be overcome citing the failure to do so in ink-jet printers despite over 30 years of product development.
Gun printer developers however disagree and hope to overcome the issues and aim to give it their best shot.
Hat tips to brd888 and Al OPecia and Mr Target