- Read the getting started guide!
- Buy a 3D printer
- Buy 3D printing material (filament)
- Buy 3D printer upgrades
- Correctly assemble printer
- Carefully level the printer bed
- Download 3D gun files
- Use a “Slicer” program to make the file printable
- Save the file and load it to your printer
- Print the gun frame, receiver, etc.
- Post process your print by removing artifacts and supports
- Assemble your firearm
- Post cool videos at the range and flex on the gram
Typical Order of Operations for Beginners
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take To Print A Gun Frame?
Print times will vary with your printer model and settings, but expect many larger prints for things like Glock frames, AR-15 receivers, and Tec-9 receivers, to take 15-28 hours on a Creality Ender 3.
Is It Legal to Build My Own Gun?
Short answer: probably. If you can lawfully own the gun to begin with, you can generally build it yourself (in the United States). This isn’t legal advice. Always consult whichever authority has jurisdiction in your area and be sure to ask extra nicely for permission 😉
I See People Talk About 'Keybase'. What's That?
Keybase is an encrypted chat app. There’s a lot to it — and you should learn about it — but it’s where Deterrence Dispensed lives right now. If you want to be in a large (9,000+ person) group that talks about 3D printing guns, that’s where you need to go.
What Is 'Deterrence Dispensed'?
Deterrence Dispensed is a group dedicated to the development and distribution of 3D gun and related files. They feature a large group chat where enthusiasts can show off their work, get help with their projects, and contribute to the community.
What Type of Material/Filament Should I Use?
There are a number of media to print with. Probably the most widely used for gun printing is called “PLA+”. You may also see people commonly using PETG. For a beginner, PLA+ is a really good starting point and offers a great mix of being easy to work with and producing quality parts.
What Brand of Filament Should I Use?
eSUN 1.75mm PLA+ has widely produced good results and is used by many people in the community. It can be purchased on Amazon and is usually $25-$30 a spool. En Bloc Press has no affiliation with eSun, but we do use their product and have been happy with it.
How Many Guns Can I Print Off One Spool (2.2kg) of PLA+ Filament?
You can expect to get five or six Glock 17 frames from a spool of eSun PLA+ 1.75mm filament.
How Much Space Do I Need?
To comfortably print on a Creality Ender 3, you’ll need about a 2′ x 2′ square surface, and about 30″ of clearance to fit the frame and spool of filament on top. Your surface should be level and stable. The printer won’t do well on carpet or wobbly surfaces.
Why Is It Called a 'Ghost Gun'?
Because they’re spooky. 3D printed and home built guns generally don’t have a serial numbers. This makes such firearms “untraceable”, and scares the media and gun control lobby.
Is It Legal to Sell What I Print?
It’s only legal to sell weapons you’ve manufactured as a Federal Firearm License holder.
Do I Have to Get a Creality Ender 3 Printer?
No. There are plenty of options for 3D printers. But the Creality Ender 3 is probably the most commonly used printer in the 3D gun printing community, and a lot of the design files and documentation/instructions are designed for the Ender 3. You can get whatever printer you want — but the Ender 3 will be the most supported.
A Note on Keybase
Note: before going into Keybase, you should understand that there are almost 10,000 people in the group. This means there are almost certainly two very specific groups of people you should be aware of:
- Cops. Law Enforcement is undoubtedly monitoring the channel. So use an email address and screen name that isn’t your real name, don’t act like an idiot, and don’t ask people to do illegal things or post yourself doing illegal things.
- People who are busy advancing the craft. Read through the channel rules. It’s a friendly place, but please do a little of your own research before asking 10,000 people a question that can be easily researched. If you need help, ask for it. But the group chat is pretty focused and stays on topic.