The issue of 3D printed guns came about when Cody Wilson, founder of the company Defence Distributed, made plans for a crude, 3D-printable handgun available online. His ‘Liberator’ was created on an $8,000 3D printer. Designs for the gun were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the US Office of Defence Trade Controls Compliance demanded the blueprints shut them down.
The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and Federal Police (BPOL) are apparently testing the weapon to see how it might make its way through security checks and the like. This makes them the second police force to try. The Australian police also downloaded and printed their own copy of the weapon from materials worth around $35.
The Australian officials found that although the gun could fire a bullet 17cm into a standard firing block, it also had a nasty habit of exploding. The fear is that the gun could be improved and still be an effective method of threatening people.