back to article 'Liberator' 3D printed gun enters London's V&A Museum

The Liberator, the 3D printed pistol that debuted earlier this year and quickly earned a ban from The US State Department and The Reg's scorn, has found its way into London's prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum. The V&A, as the museum is affectionately known, specialises in decorative arts and design. The Liberator falls into …


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  1. Dave Bell

    Luvvie-choice? Too soon to say.

    This makes sense.

    Whether the V&A is the most appropriate choice can be questioned. Where would you put LOHAN, for instance? Apple computers, of all sorts and ages, have a strong design element, but they are more than just a design.

    Whether it is so good a choice in ten years, I wouldn't like to guess. But I would point at the Royal Armouries as an alternative to the V&A for this. Are you looking at it as a weapon, or as a piece of design with big implications for the history of 3D printing? Print it with spun sugar and it could be a desert-topping too.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Luvvie-choice? Too soon to say.

      It's clearly a very distinctive design, so it is successful in that regard. It is not a remotely useful weapon though so to put in an armory museum seems like the wrong choice.

      Celebrate its successes, not its failures; that's a solid arts angle. Can't say what its success as a weapon would be: "Behold the Liberator 3D printed pistol. In 2103 the Liberator took the top spot of 'Weapon Most Dangerous to the User and Least Likely to Cause Damage to the Target' away from the short fused petard which had held that spot for nearly 400 years".

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Luvvie-choice? Too soon to say.

        A museum needs to preserve the ordinary, failures, average and stupid to put the exceptional in context.

        1. Don Jefe
          Thumb Up

          Re: Luvvie-choice? Too soon to say.

          Excellent point Mage. I really didn't even consider that.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    What kind of 3D printing...

    I notice nobody ever raises the question of this being printed in something other than crap plastic.

    For example, if you used the same uber-expensive printer that SpaceX uses, which prints sintered metal, the end product would be something to be more afraid of at the target end, rather than the firing end.

    I guess the point is that this is because the crap plastic printers are now consumer items, but everybody here remembers when laser printers were something that only top-end graphics shops could afford.

    I could really use that sintered metal printer for parts for my motorcycle... Elon won't share his toys though!

    1. SuccessCase

      Re: What kind of 3D printing...

      Yes people do ask that question. I too pointed that out in an earlier comment (that there are 3D printers that produce sintered metal output). But the Register just roundly ignores any such feedback because their original article which stated in the headline the Liberator is "proof you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer" has a number of times over, been proven roundly and comprehensively wrong and it seems the Register are incapable of admitting such.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: What kind of 3D printing...

        Here's an update which illustrates why the Imaginations of The Register team have so comprehensively failed to appreciate what the Liberator gun project has unlocked. This underlines why it was a significant moment and also shows it has achieved exactly what it's creator set out to achieve - a clear demonstration the Genie is out the bottle and from here on the world will have to deal with public wiki evolution and improvement of the 3D printed gun.

        Personally I am deeply uneasy about this, but in a conflicted way as I am also strangely comforted that an individual stood up and said to government, "this is what freedom means. I'm free to do this and others are free to receive my output" and admire that he was prepared to articulately justifying the principles he subscribed to and take action in line with those principles (even though I would not have chosen, and do not agree with, what he chose to make his point with).

      2. Vociferous

        Re: What kind of 3D printing...

        The _design_ is still crap - e.g. no fluting, extremely short barrel - and you can still build a better zip gun from easily available parts from a hardware store, at 1/10th the cost.

        It is a bad gun regardless of what material you make it of. It has nothing but novelty value.

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: What kind of 3D printing...

          "The _design_ is still crap - e.g. no fluting, extremely short barrel"

          Well the part about the rifling is simply not true. If you had read the link article I posted you would see that after nine shots the rifling was still intact.

          "you can still build a better zip gun from easily available parts from a hardware store"

          Yes you can but that takes effort beyond pushing a print button. Most crims are lazy and any policeman will tell you crime is linked to opportunity and it's distance from the sofa. Plus, again if you checked the link, you would see there are now multi shot variants.

          "It has nothing but novelty value."

          Stated without an ounce of research. There are multiple videos available on the web showing these things pack a punch. No they don't offer top of the line performance, but if the finishing line is a dead or crippled adversary and these guns have already been shown to have sufficient power to serve the user to cross the finishing line, then that's the main point.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: What kind of 3D printing...

            "No they don't offer top of the line performance, but if the finishing line is a dead or crippled adversary and these guns have already been shown to have sufficient power to serve the user to cross the finishing line, then that's the main point."

            It's a solution in search of a problem and a half assed one at that.

            For less than the cost of a 3D printer, I can BUY a new and very reliable handgun.

            1. SuccessCase

              Re: What kind of 3D printing...

              "For less than the cost of a 3D printer, I can BUY a new and very reliable handgun."

              Good for you big boy.

              But I despair at the logic and lack of forward thinking.

              The printer is a means of production. Laser printers used to cost nearly £20,000 when they first came out, not quite the same price today. Soon 3D printers will be available in print shops up and down the country. Plus you use one 3D printer and you can print as many guns as you want. It's the cost per gun that's the relevant benchmark.

              Given the low cost. You use it once and throw it away (or build a big fire an melt it) and there's no gun to link to ballistics evidence (with a plastic barrel the evidence will be less certain anyway). Knowledge that can so easily be the case will be quite an incentive for certain petty criminals. Ease of access without fear the source of supply has been compromised or is being watched by the police (you know it will be "clean"), low cost, easy to dispose of if used to hurt someone without concern that an expensive asset is being destroyed.

              That's a pretty positive list for a crim.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: What kind of 3D printing...

                Plus there's the matter of the reduced metal content: handy for someone wanting to get past a metal detector and still be able to kill at 5-10 meters or so. The only thing you'd need beyond the liberator is a nonmetallic cartridge (has anyone tried using a ceramic slug in a carbon fiber casing or the like in one of these, resulting in a fully-nonmetallic distance weapon)?

            2. Tom 35

              Re: What kind of 3D printing...

              "a solution in search of a problem"

              I think it's more of a distraction. Never mind people buying AR15 with large magazines, or buying hand guns by the dozen at gun "shows"... OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE PRINTING SHITTY PLASTIC GUNS.

              And the copyright brigade is on it too, OH MY GOD LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE CAN PRINT ANYTHING, we need a law that designs have to be signed by someone like us.

              The rest is just the same people who build stuff like PVC pipe potato canons, and bleach bombs having fun.

          2. Don Jefe

            Re: What kind of 3D printing...


            The rifling was still intact because it isn't rifling. It is a pointless decorative feature in these firearms.

            Rifling cuts grooves into the bullet as it travels down the barrel to maintain the pressure generated when the round was ignited. Thats the reason that rifling is hardened and bullets are soft (comparatively). It is also the reason bullets aren't made from non-malleable materials like ceramic. The bullet is larger in diameter than the bore of the barrel and without the rifling cutting into it the bullet would never leave the end of the barrel; it would be stuck. The primary purpose of rifling was the replacement of the wadding in old weapons as the pressure seal.

            It was later discovered that different ratios of twist in the rifling, combined with differing lengths of barrel, could have a controllable effect on the performance of the round at varying distances. This allows a single cartridge specification to be used effectively in multiple scenarios by using different firearms but only having to manufacture a single round. It greatly reduces military logistics and provides the soldier low on ammunition with a greater chance of finding ammunition usable for his weapon, the weapon he is trained with and comfortable with.

            1. SuccessCase

              Re: What kind of 3D printing...

              "The rifling was still intact because it isn't rifling. It is a pointless decorative feature in these firearms."

              Sigh,... doesn't anyone do any research or check what's already been shown to be the case before writing these comments ? There is such a thing as engineering and testing, to check if your assumptions are true. I would have made the same assumptions about plastic gun rifling if I hadn't bothered to do any reading about test results.

              The role of rifling is not limited to what you have said in the first paragraph, but more importantly what you have alluded to in your second paragraph. It ensures the bullet is made to spin which ensures any weight bias is applied equally in all directions perpendicular to the direction of travel during flight, so it flies straight and true.

              This link is one showing these guns ARE effective and the rifling IS working. There is a difference between what assumption based on the basic principles of physics/engineering leads you to think will be the case, and what testing proves actually is the case. Scientists accept what the results of experiment prove.


              1. Don Jefe

                Re: What kind of 3D printing...

                Wise man say; 'Do not debate engineering with engineer who manufactures product being discussed'.

                As I have stated several times here, precision rifle barrels are one of our biggest production run product lines (most of our output is custom manufactured and not firearms related). We provide them to several manufacturers, armed forces competitive rifle teams and a rather well known television personality and host of a hunting show.

                We also manufacture one off barrels for specialty applications and spec proofing by ammunition manufacturers, insurance underwriting labs and forensics test data generation labs. I personally designed the adjustable gas blowback system on the AR-15 variant used by many of the top names in NRA High Power Rifle competition. Our facility (my facility) in Virginia assisted in developing the modern cryogenic treatment process for rifling used around the world by other barrel manufacturers and manufacturers of other high stress environment components.

                Rifling as a method of altering the flight characteristics of a bullet is a side effect (albeit an important one) of an integrated method of maintaining a seal throughout the length of the barrel in order to increase the efficiency of the cartridge. That is the primary reason why cartridge rounds (as opposed to ball and wadding) can be so small, comparatively, and use so little powder, and be so effective.

                You are correct in your, simplified, assessment of what else rifling provides, but as stated, it is a secondary effect which was not even well understood, beyond "it happens" until post WWI when the design of firearms and the search for lighter weight ammunition really took off.

                The research didn't even really begin to bear significant fruit until the Vietnam era when small caliber weapons began to replace large caliber weapons for the general war fighter. The search for increased cartridge efficiency with the goal of giving the soldier an larger supply of ammunition that did not increase the weight of their equipment led all this research. Not that 'ammunition meant to wound not kill' bullshit, people can't hit shit when they are being shot at and giving the soldier more ammunition increased the chances he will hit something.

                So you are correct, sort of, as far as you go, but you are talking about interaction between several fairly complex systems and reactions, and focusing on side effects of a primary process, without first understanding the primary process. In engineering we call that a good way to build a steamy pile of dangerous shit.

                1. SuccessCase

                  Re: What kind of 3D printing...

                  I bow to your experience and knowledge in your field, but it is evident it has lead you to deny that non conventional material (sintered plastic) could have the effect it evidently does (rifling effectively increasing accuracy), which I notice you didn't acknowledge. You then replied with an argument from Authority to cover this, which is actually one of the seven logical fallacies (the argument "I'm an expert therefore I'm right" - there is no therefore and your argument stands on it's own merits).

                  I'm not an idiot either and I'm perfectly sure footed when it comes first principles. It is quite clear that someone who has a lot of knowledge in his field sometimes won't quite accept the reality of what left of field technology (3D printing) coming from outside their field can do. To a certain engineer the self tapping screw, screwed into plastic, appears a horribly inaccurate and low tech solution. But that doesn't mean it isn't effective and didn't come to be widely used once the technique was understood.

                  And of course the first effect you referred to doesn't apply in the same way to a plastic barrel anyway. Incidentally, in layman's terms I understand that problem completely. When I was younger my father who started out as machine tool engineer, had to produce a metal plug to fit in a hole in the tool with extremely tight tolerance. On trying the plug for size he (predictably !) couldn't get it out and so reversed the engine on a vacuum cleaner to try to blow it out from the other end of the bore through the tool block. The pressure quickly built up and when it blew, it blew quarter of a brick out the corner of a wall. It was fortunate no one was hurt. Clearly when heat is also involved, a plain metal tube would present a big problem with Jamming but reducing the size of a bullet would cause loss of power and accuracy. Anyway I digress.

                  My own thinking on this is that these guns will end up being produced with a deliberately slightly reduced bore on the rifling, so the result will be something akin to the self tapping screw, and the barrel will deliver a higher level of force only for one shot and would be disposable - they may already be inadvertently working in a way that is akin to this (it would be interesting to see further research). The user will carry maybe two or three barrels in his pocket with bullets in position in the "hammer" end and which could be quickly swapped over.

                  These guns may not, in terms of the ballistics and your thinking, be much more sophisticated than a musket and you may not even consider gun technology with pre 1800's levels of effectiveness anything worthy of consideration, but looking at the many videos if I had no choice, for sure I would rather stand in front of an air rifle aimed at my body than one of these things - by quite some margin. They may appear a novelty compared with what you are used to, but clearly these things can kill, and I'm not sure the family of the first person to be killed by one (as someone surely will be) would agree with you about their "novelty" value.

                  1. Don Jefe

                    Re: What kind of 3D printing...

                    I apologize if my post failed to address the use of sintered plastic composites as an affordable and effective alternative to metal in a firearm barrel as manufactured by a '3D' printer using a standard metallic projectile. I shall attempt to do so below.

                    The effects noted in your provided example were achieved by the bullet destroying the 'rifling' and the bore of barrel as it traversed the barrel at an at an oblique angle to the bore. Basically scraping down the barrel and defining its own gas and pressure seal as well as trajectory as opposed to that dictated by the barrel. A gas seal and trajectory that cannot be intentionally repeated. You could achieve similar results by filling the bore with gelatin.The bore must remain, effectively, unaltered after each round is discharged in order to produce stable and safe results (as a gun that isn't reliable and safe to use is 100% worthless). Using sintered plastic composites is a guaranteed (exciting?) failure state becoming increasingly probable with each discharge. Below are the reasons why (I have attempted to keep the explanations rather simple, but not so simple (I hope) that they offend).

                    - Printable plastic composites cannot be made sufficiently rigid, at the scale required, to perform the act of grooving the bullet to maintain the seal between the breech and the end of the barrel. With a sufficiently large bore and projectile you could create a large enough bearing surface to prevent the instant and progressive degradation of the rifling but it would need to be far larger than an (easily) portable firearm. The lands in rifling (the part that stands proud of the inside of the bore) are quite sharply defined in order to effectively cut into the bullet to create and maintain the seal while minimizing removal of mass from the bullet as well as to minimize resistance in order to maximize exit velocity and reduce the likelihood of a round lodged in the barrel.

                    - Sintered plastic composites do no respond consistently or reliably to mechanical action in situations with rapid temperature fluctuations and/or high heat. The materials, in a sufficiently heated environment (as found in an automatic firearm), enter an inconsistently malleable state where they are deformed by mechanical action and again realign themselves as they cool based around the random positioning of voids present as an inherent part of the sintering process. Resulting in significant changes in shape throughout its length during and after each discharge. Initial manufacture under high pressure could reduce the random variations somewhat but that is far outside the scope of a 3D printer accessible to anyone who would need to print a firearm (as opposed to buying one or making one from traditional materials).

                    - The gaseous byproducts from the ignition of modern propellants are highly corrosive and contain a very high particulate content. Combined with the previously discussed nature of sintered plastic composites introduces a very high possibility of said particulates become trapped inside the cooling material and creating a highly unstable void that can cause catastrophic failure at the point of the particulate inclusion.

                    Those are some of the basic reasons why an affordable plastic firearm barrel is a poor idea.

                    Alternatives for 3D printing of finished goods:

                    Assuming you are not going to attempt to defeat a metal detector (which is a terrible plan from the start for a lot of reasons, but millimeter wave devices render that attempt completely unsuitable) but instead equip a group of disenfranchised or poorly funded rebels unable to buy or steal their own firearms.

                    A 3D printer could be used to create inexpensive, accurate and consistent molds for casting DIY weapons and even for the creation of primitive, but effective, barrel boring and rifling equipment. Sig Sauer has proven the casting process to be highly effective and cheaper than the traditional forging of firearms. A suitable furnace and could be constructed and low quality, but suitable, raw or recyclable materials could be built and acquired for less than $10k and could produce several reasonably reliable, reusable and effective firearms per day. The same process could be used to manufacture ammunition and ammunition loading equipment (less propellant and primer of course).

                    Such a use of a 3D printer is far more within its reasonable capacity and will provide a finished product superior in every aspect to that of a plastic composite alternative.

                    1. Don Jefe

                      Re: What kind of 3D printing... Ammunition & Philosophy & Clarification

                      In addition I would like to clarify that plastic composite ammunition is 'more possible' than a plastic composite barrel, but there are many, many complications there as well. You would end up requiring a firearm of absurd proportions to contain a casing sufficient to withstand the force of ignition, heat, projectile release and sustained pressure required to generate a dangerous (to the target) velocity.

                      There is nothing more researched, engineered around, and contemplated than the best and cheapest ways to kill other men. Every single aspect of a firearm has been thought about, tried and retried. This can be evidenced in the fact that people are intimidated by the look and mechanical sounds of guns. Those things are not designed into the weapon, they are the end results of function over all else engineering. They are scary for the same reason a shark is scary: It is near perfection for its designated task.

                      If a plastic, printed or otherwise, firearm was a viable option those designs would have appeared before printed Tin Tin models and "infringement of copyright materials" (grain of salt there pleased). Firearms research is already evolving into the use of use of exotic materials, projectiles, targeting systems, etc... There is no further reductionism possible and in order to out perform any aspect of current firearms future weapons must increase in complexity and/or move completely away from projectiles.

                      Also I think it is important for me to note and clarify that I think shooting people is fucking stupid. I understand how and why it developed but it's still a waste of many resources. I (we) do not design or manufacture anything designed expressly to kill men; not for individuals or government agencies or governments, no one. Absolutely nothing we do is designed or intended to contribute to violence among men. I enjoy the engineering precision and personal discipline required for long range competition and can appreciate but do not participate in hunting game.

                      Also, regarding my previous post, I want it made absolutely clear that I was not advocating anyone setup an illegal (or underground as your vocabulary dictates) firearms manufacturing facility. That's just a stupid fucking thing for anyone who is not trying to be shot by a mass produced metal firearm to do. I was only pointing out an effective use of 3D printing technology within the context of the Liberator and its failings.


                      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                        Re: What kind of 3D printing... Ammunition & Philosophy & Clarification

                        While nothing is more research, researching a COVERT means of killing a man is not only highly researched, but also due to its nature full of TRADE SECRETS. Especially since these can be tools of the state (like the ricin umbrella), so plans tend to stay away from the public eye. Plus, with each discovery, the circumstances become more difficult. Right now, distance and security at the gate are the main things protecting VIPs who must speak in public. A gun would beat the distance problem in a way few others could, and those others would have difficulty beating the security at the gate (springs are invariable metallic, a bow would be harder to conceal and still be effective, especially if they can't be metal limbs, and a blow weapon would probably lack accuracy at range if its size is limited).

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: What kind of 3D printing... Ammunition & Philosophy & Clarification

                          Is this thread really debating how good these guns are and how close to home manufacture of guns we are? I guess those arguing 3D printing can make real guns have no shooting experience at all. Chances are the people using one of these will win a darwin award for trying.

                          I dont understand the fascination with guns. Not from a shooting point of view because that does make sense, but the fixation of those absolutely and irrationally opposed to the existence of guns. A 3D printer could make a self exploding device which kinda looks like a gun while it has the accuracy of a musket and the range of a rubber band. But yet people seem hooked on it. It isnt some self loading rapid fire either but a single shot manually reloaded if it survives the first. Obviously this is overlooking the cost of the 3D printer, cost of the plastic and then the technical requirement to build not one but many to make up for as many flaws as possible.

                          For those really worried about it I wonder how many are against 3D printers for printing anything pointy. It would surely make better stabbing weapons, but then you probably already have many pointy things around you.

                          How many of these worried people are against google maps? Didnt a group of terrorists attack a building using google map images to plan the assault? And of course the same problem with burglaries using maps to plan.

                          For those worried about these printed guns I think you have a lack of imagination. There are much easier ways, much cheaper ways, much more reliable ways and ultimately less dangerous to yourself ways.

    2. Cliff

      Re: What kind of 3D printing...

      Sintering, though, isn't nearly in the same league as casting, let alone cast, heat treated and machined metal. I wouldn't want a gun made from sintered metal - it's porous and weak.

      Sintering is the process of heat treating particles so the interfaces where those particles touch weld together. As such the process doesn't create solid metal, but has gaps much like a box of marbles running right the way through. That can be useful for self-lubricating bearings, but useless for pressure applications.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: What kind of 3D printing...

        "Sintering, though, isn't nearly in the same league as casting"

        Very true Cliff, but there is a big difference between best and good enough to discharge a bullet with lethal force over 40 or 50 feat. These guns are not going to be used by the army. They will be used by home gun enthusiasts and petty criminals who want something stand-offish so they can threaten without being in arms distance of their target. As such it will be close to being a knife than a high performance ballistics wonder. They will occupy the role of being a knife+

        The point is, even in plastic form, they have been proven already to be good enough to fire multiple times. So if you were on the receiving end of a mugging and a bullet from one if these, would you think that sintering not being as good as casting is the key point of the debate?

        1. Cliff

          Re: What kind of 3D printing...

          ", would you think that sintering not being as good as casting is the key point of the debate?"

          Actually, yes. I wouldn't have a heap of faith over 40 or 50 feet at all. Sintered stuff is all holes. Guns rely on pressure. Sintering can't hold pressure, and is also likely to tear apart.

          Point one at me, I'll either think it's real not knowing better, or call your bluff and watch you damage yourself far more than you'll damage me at any distance where I'm out of shrapnel range. If I think it's real, maybe I'll feel threatened enough to use my real gun on you first. Do it right or not at all.

          There's a reason the complex parts in guns are expensively milled from quality metals, and a reason why we don't sinter submarines... As a process, sintering isn't good for pressure applications. There may be other future 3D processes perfect for what you say, sure, just saying sintering isn't it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What kind of 3D printing...

      There's been talk of 3d printing houses before.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. i like crisps


    Had a Spud Gun when i was a kid that was more deadly than this plastic shit.

  5. simon gardener

    Misleading headline

    Damn that misleading headline !

    I got all excited about the possibility of making my own Blake's 7 gun.

  6. Yet Another Commentard


    I came here expecting a Blake's 7 story. Colour me disappointed.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Fargo II: Plastic gun extravaganza

    Some dude above said: (Random Hollywood Story storypoints elided) That's a pretty positive list for a crim.

    Must be one of those crims who also tweet about their actions.

    I know that knives are pretty much considered banned and hard to acquire in the UK but this is just beyond stupid. JUST KNIFE YOUR MARK like a real Yakuza. Or are you some kind of mall scooter monster?

    An then the article says:

    unregulated sharing of designs online

    Oh shit, something is unregulated. You know what else is not regulated? Underground dinner parties in New York

    Meanwhile, in the real world:

    Building a VSS Vintorez in the USA

    Hell yeah. Hey wait, these guys are building the weapons while not even HAVING the design? Women and children will surely DIE!

    1. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Fargo II: Plastic gun extravaganza

      One who broadcasts their crime well as one of those cunning criminals who believes that all traces of their activities on a computer goes away when you put a file in the recycle bin...

      I'm not convinced of the stunning intelligence of anyone who decides they needed a firearm and would risk the successful perpetration of his plan to a horribly unproven device when so very, very many proven reliable and effective alternative options exist. That's just bad planning.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: Fargo II: Plastic gun extravaganza

      @destroy all monsters

      I know from past posts that when you disagree with someone you tend to get a bit vicious, and we have crossed swords before, but really don't feel sore, to try to paint my remark as some kind of boast I'm a criminal is pretty pathetic even for you.

  8. Rol Silver badge

    The blade itself incites to deeds of violence...Homer.

    And this written at a time when the blue prints to make a pointy stick had long been leaked to the general public.

    The lowlife, who might make merry with a 3D printed gun, is not suddenly going to come into being, he has been honing his monstrous skills along the way with all manner of contrived devices, most of which are more readily available, cheaper and far more effective.

    The Liberator, at best, is a political statement, a piece of controversial art, an exercise in pr, but it will never be a game changer, unlike the bow and arrow, which incidentally I was making at the age of eight from readily available materials and not once did I feel the need to use it maliciously, even though it was quite capable of killing my nemesis at ten yards, which happens to be about eight more than the Liberator.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: The blade itself incites to deeds of violence...Homer.

      I didn't get a nemesis until my late 20's. What does that say about your childhood?

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: The blade itself incites to deeds of violence...Homer.

        I went to school in the UK, complete with award winning bullies and equally psychotic teachers.

        Tomkinson's School Days wasn't a spoof comedy and I'm still chasing the documentary team for payment.

        Oh and Don, I have a good sense of humour and would never down vote someone for giving me a poke

        You obviously didn't deal with your nemesis, correction, nemesi or is that nemisises, I think my spell-checker needs a coffee.

        I still have the designs handy for sticks and stones, if you need them?

        1. Gray Ham

          Re: The blade itself incites to deeds of violence...Homer.

          That would be "nemeses"

          Always assuming any one person can have more than one nemesis ...

  9. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    The V&A was right

    Based on the discussion here, the Liberator definitely "represent[s] a turning point in debates around digital manufacturing."

  10. Cliff

    Just realised how badly we're missing the point

    Because the Liberator is print-it-yourself you can make a crappy plastic gun to match your expensive new iPhone

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR anyone?

    Me thinks this move was designed to stir up some, no doubt needed, PR and marketing for the V&A. I'm not saying the plastic gun should not be there, just that I bet there are plenty other worthy objects that got overlooked because of their less controversial nature. But the V&A is a cool place, so I hope it works for them.

  12. TheBully

    >>>The Liberator is not unique in being a dud product that nevertheless made it into a prestigious museum within months of its launch. IBM's 1995 ThinkPad 701, better known as the butterfly thanks to its folding keyboard, made it to New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1996.<<<

    That ThinkPad 701 looks awesome, what was dud about it, didn't it actually exist? I certainly couldn't find any old ones for sale online.

  13. Joefish

    I suppose that's one use for a 3D printer no-one predicted...

    Why does a museum need to go out exploring ancient booby-trapped tombs and the like to collect artefacts when you can just run off a few more exhibits in the backroom?

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