Manufacturing your own weapons can be a daunting prospect. On this page it will be broken down into the basic steps so that you can understand the skills, information, and resources you need to gain in order to get started. First, what is possible? As of now you can make receivers for a wide range of firearms, a variety of firearms accessories, fire control group components, completely DIY weapons, and more. Check out the designs page to see some of our designs. You use 3D printing to manufacture your own parts at home. The designs are provided by developers fully tested and with detailed documentation. You will have to source the parts and materials needed to build the weapon.
Nothing is free, but the process of making your own weapons is also not enormously expensive. You will need to buy a printer, filament, tools, parts, ammo and accessories. The printer can cost from $100 to $1000, we’ll assume a upgraded low end machine of $400. Three rolls of PLA+ to get you started will cost about $100. If your printing an AR-15 the parts will be $400 to $500, we’ll go with $500. Tools could be another $100. Optics and other accessories could be $200. That knocks you back about $1300. If you go with a cheaper printer and lower cost parts and tools you could get that under $1000 easily. If your already building firearms and have parts around, the entry is even lower cost.
3D printing is the core technology used to manufacture most of the parts. Buying a 3D Printer, and learning how to use it is the first and most important step. Once your printer set up, it’s a good idea to play around with small prints that don’t use a lot of time or filament to get a better understanding of the process. Do this before you begin printing larger weapon parts.
We provide designs, in fact that is primarily what Hoffman Tactical does. However there are many other designs available from a number of other developers. Finding these designs can be challenging, the Finding Designs page helps point you in the right direction, as well as explaining how the downloads tend to be structured, and how they should be used.
Sourcing parts and materials is critical as they are needed to complete many designs. Some designs use less factory firearms parts than others. For our designs we provide convenient kits that you can use. however, parts can always be sources elsewhere as the decentralized model is very important to insure that weapons are always accessible.
While some designs require advanced skills such as welding or machining, many do not. Knowing how to 3D print is the core skill you will have to learn. Assembly and troubleshooting you will learn along the way. The process is not hard, it just requires a little patience. Prior firearms experience and knowledge is a big help.
Weapons are deadly. That is why they exist. Insuring that you do not do harm with weapon requires care and common sense. Don’t work on a firearm when loaded with live ammunition. Don’t point a firearm at something you don’t want to destroy. A little common sense goes a long way. The building process is quite safe. Be carful around the hot end of 3D printers to avoid burns. Don’t cut yourself with a knife. Safety glasses are always a good idea.
Weapons are highly regulated. That in fact is one of the primary reasons why home built weapons exist. Our primary audience is in the USA, under federal law personally made firearms are legal, however many states regulate them. Be sure to carefully check your local laws to understand the circumstances in your area.