Looking to 3D print your own firearm? While they are hard to find, there are tons of 3D printable gun models available online, from lower receivers to mag attachments and everything in between. You just have to look in the right places!
I’ve done the work for you and found the best online repositories for downloading 3D printable gun files. And, don’t worry about safety or legality. Not only are all of these sites virus-free, but downloading a 3D printed gun file is 100% legal; you can even 3D print your own gun and use it in the United States!
Keep reading to learn more about where to find 3D printed gun files!
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Find 3D Printed Gun Files
- Other Repositories
- Are 3D Printed Guns Legal?
- Is it Illegal to Download 3D Printed Gun Files?
- Is it Safe to Access 3D Printed Gun Sites?
- What Parts of a Gun Can Be 3D Printed?
- How Many Bullets Can a 3D Printed Gun Hold?
Best Places to Find 3D Printed Gun Files
Below, I’ve gone over the best websites to find 3D printable gun files. Note that most of these websites are in the legal gray area, so their repositories might be moved over time if the site gets shut down. I’ll do my best to update the links to ensure they take you to the right place! Enjoy!
First up, DEFCAD is easily one of the largest sites for finding 3D printable gun parts and other accessories. DEFCAD has a very well-developed user interface and all of the project listings on the site are super high-quality, with renders of the final product (the gun) and a brief description.
Some of the types of 3D printable guns you can find on DEFCAD include custom handguns, carbine pistols, and AK rifles. You can also find a handful of other accessories 3D printable weapons, like mag extensions, holsters, brass knuckles, and gun stands!
The search features on this site are also spectacular, and there are hundreds of filters you can use to refine your search. For example, you can filter by platform, caliber, fabrication method, and gun type.
Unfortunately, you have to make an account on the website to download project files. But this isn’t that big of an issue as the process takes no more than a few minutes.
So, if you’re looking for high-quality 3D printable gun projects or want to make some useful gun accessories, DEFCAD is the place to go. Basically, no other website offers the quality of projects as DEFCAD, and the site’s interface is also spectacular with many useful search features!
Next, CtrlPew is another large repository of 3D printable guns, and it’s home to thousands of different gun STL files, for handguns, rifles, carbines, and more!
Unlike some other repositories, CtrlPew is more like an aggregator than an actual repository as you don’t actually download files from the site. Instead, you are directed to another site, such as Odysee, where you can safely download the files you want. This is done to minimize the legal risk of CtrlPew so the site can stay up without infringing on any gun or censorship laws.
The search tools and user interface on CtrlPew aren’t nearly as well-developed as DEFCAD, but, hey, you work with what you get. And, all of the file drops on CtrlPew are divided into categories, like “Printable Frames” and “Magazine”, which will help shorten your search time.
Another thing I love about CtrlPew is that the site is home to some useful resources for 3D printing guns. They have a full guide on how you can 3D print a firearm, and they also have a shop where you can find some funny merch, 3D printer accessories, and patches.
Next, 3DGunBuilder is yet another great place for finding 3D printed gun files and projects. Here, you’ll find many 3D printable projects for pistols, rifles, magazines, and accessories. And, every listing on the site is super comprehensive, with all of the links and information you need to make the respective firearm.
Furthermore, on each 3DGunBuilder project page, you’ll find a download link for the 3D printed gun files, suggested print settings, a list of the hardware you need (with links), pictures, testing videos, and more! You could go from not knowing anything about 3D printing a gun to making your own without ever leaving the site.
And, finding the right project for you is super easy on 3DGunBuilder, as the site has divided the listings into four categories: pistols, rifles, magazines, and accessories. The pistols section has some great designs, like custom carbines, concept frames, and more. I also love the accessories section as you can find suppressors, auto switches, and other random add-ons.
The site also has a great interface, and while I experienced some bugs while using it, it wasn’t anything too annoying. The site also features some guides if you want additional assistance in the build process!
Next, the FossCad GitHub isn’t like the other sites we went over. Instead, it’s a public GitHub page that includes a handful of the best 3D printable gun files. The GitHub repository has literally hundreds and hundreds of different gun STL files, including pistols, rifles, ammo boxes, mag accessories, and more.
While the information for each project isn’t super comprehensive, all of the different files are very well organized, so finding the right design is very easy. Moreover, there are folders for “Pistols”, “Ammo”, “Grenades”, “Rifles”, “Misc.”, and more. And, within these folders are even more folders that further sort the different 3D printable gun project files.
So, if you haven’t had any luck finding the right 3D printable gun design on the other sites we mentioned, the FossCad GitHub page might have what you’re looking for!
Lastly, if the repositories I went over don’t have what you’re looking for, you can try finding 3D printable gun models on Reddit. While you can’t download files directly from Reddit, there are many Reddit posts containing links to private Google Drive and DropBox folders where you can find even more 3D printed gun models.
Obviously, Reddit is not a 3D printing repository so its search features aren’t exactly catered towards finding 3D printable gun models. But, with some very specifically-worded Google searches or searches directly on Reddit, you can find 3D printable gun files in just a few minutes.
It’s also worth pointing out that there is a handful of Subreddits specifically meant for sharing 3D printable gun files. r/Fosscad is a great place to start your search!
The repositories I described above (besides Reddit) are all specific to 3D printing and guns. However, you can also find 3D printable gun parts on many general-purpose 3D printable model repositories. I’ve listed and briefly described a few of the most popular 3D printing repositories below:
- Thingiverse: Thingiverse is the largest repository for 3D printable models, with other 2 million models, all of which are free. While Thingiverse has removed designs related to firearms in the past, there are still many gun-related parts, such as rail accessories, that you can find on the platform.
- Printables: Printables is another popular 3D printable model repository, run by Prusa Research. This site contains fewer designs than Thingiverse but boasts much better search features, which will help you find 3D printable gun parts easier. And, just like Thingiverse, all models on Printables are free!
- MyMiniFactory: MyMiniFactory is a repository specifically meant for 3D printable models. While most of the designs on MyMiniFactory are related to miniatures and figurines, you can find some 3D printable gun parts and accessories on the platform.
- Cults: Lastly, Cults is yet another repository for 3D printable models. Cults feature tons of designs, covering all categories, and I’ve actually found a handful of 3D printable gun accessories, such as handgun holsters, on this platform. Some of the models might cost money, though.
Are 3D Printed Guns Legal?
Yes, to an extent.
Of course, the legality of 3D printed guns differs from country to country and state to state. But, in the United States, you are permitted to make your own firearms, including using a 3D printer to do so.
There are some restrictions, though. First off, the firearm has to be for personal use. And, as you probably expected, you’re also not allowed to sell or distribute any 3D printed firearms you make.
It’s also worth noting, that specific types of firearms and accessories, such as automatic guns and silencers, have additional constraints on their production, regardless of whether they are 3D printed or not. For instance, producing any automatic weapon is illegal, even if you design and make it yourself using a 3D printer.
Additionally, various states have their own regulations concerning 3D printed guns. For instance, California has made it illegal to possess a 3D printed firearm that lacks a serial number or other distinguishing markings. It is thus vital to familiarize yourself with the laws on 3D printed firearms in your state (and county/city) of residence.
Is it Illegal to Download 3D Printed Gun Files?
While 3D printable gun repositories have been taken down in the past, it is not illegal to download 3D printed gun files. So, don’t worry if you’re interested in 3D printed guns. The feds won’t kick open your door if you download an STL file from a sketchy website.
However, you can get in trouble if you’re downloading 3D printable gun files on a company laptop or on a school network. But, the act isn’t illegal, and, thus, you can’t be legally punished for the act.
Of course, the government has become a bit more stringent with gun laws in recent years. As such, you shouldn’t download 3D printed gun files if you’re on a watchlist or aren’t allowed to own a firearm because downloading the file might indicate that you’re planning on making your own. And, we all know that Big Brother is always watching, even when you’re in incognito mode.
Is it Safe to Access 3D Printed Gun Sites?
Yes, for the most part.
While some online repositories for 3D printable gun models are sketchy, the sites I listed are all perfectly safe. In fact, I’ve personally tested each one and I have yet to find a virus on my computer or a phone call from the FBI.
However, if you’re using a site different from the ones I listed, make sure you maintain basic internet safety procedures. Moreover, check Reddit to make sure the site is safe before clicking around on the site or downloading a model.
What Parts of a Gun Can Be 3D Printed?
While you can’t 3D print every part of a gun, you can 3D print most. In the sections below, I’ve briefly explained some of the most popular parts of a gun that you can find online and 3D print.
By far, the most popular 3D printable gun part is a lower receiver. For all non-gun enthusiasts, the lower receiver is the section of a firearm that sits above the grip, houses the hammer and trigger components, and has a slot for the magazine.
The lower receiver is so popular to 3D print because it’s the only part of a gun that’s mandated, in the United States, to have a serial number. Every other component, besides the ammo, can be purchased online without any form of ID verification. As such, 3D printing this part makes it possible to create a “ghost gun”, which is a firearm without a serial number.
It’s worth noting that a ghost gun with a 3D printer lower receiver can still be traced. Moreover, it’s likely that the other components of your DIY firearm will also have serial numbers, which can be traced back to a buyer via the manufacturer.
Rail attachments are perhaps the second most popular 3D printable gun part. Rails are on most upper receivers for both handguns and rifles, and the possibilities of what rail attachments you can 3D print are endless.
Some examples include scope mounts, laser mounts, flashlight holders, and more. Of course, most rail attachments require some additional hardware (e.g. laser, scope), but it’s still very helpful to have a 3D printer around to print mounts for these parts.
Next, mag accessories are another popular 3D printable item for guns. While not directly involved in the functionality of a firearm, they can significantly improve the usability of your gun. Plus, 3D printing mag accessories is much less expensive than buying them.
Another firearm component you can 3D print is a grip. 3D printing is actually very useful for making gun grips because these machines can be super precise, enabling you to make grips for your guns that are specific to your hands and shooting style.
The parts we explained aren’t the only components of a firearm you can 3D print. There are tons of additional accessories that you can make on your own, from trigger locks to ammo holders and many more. You can find these other accessories on any of the repositories I went over.
How Many Bullets Can a 3D Printed Gun Hold?
It depends on the gun you’re printing and what magazine you’re using. Furthermore, because firearm magazines require some non-3D-printable components, like springs, it’s unlikely that you’re 3D printing your own firearm magazine. As such, how many bullets you can load into your 3D printed gun depends on what magazine you use.
If you want to 3D print your own firearm, whether it’s a handgun or rifle, you’ll need to find the right files to make it. However, searching for these types of 3D models on Google or popular 3D printing repositories, like Thingiverse, won’t bring you much luck. Instead, you should use a repository specifically meant for 3D printable gun models.
Repositories like DEFCAD and CtrlPew are managed by gun enthusiasts and are specifically meant for 3D printed gun files, so no models will ever be taken down for censorship purposes (cough cough Thingiverse). And, these repositories have basically any and all gun-related 3D printable models, including lower receivers, rail attachments, mag accessories, and more!
Plus, these sites are very safe and are 100% legal in most countries and states. Of course, you should review the local jurisdiction around 3D printed firearms before actually making the models. But downloading a 3D printed gun file shouldn’t get you in any form of legal trouble.
Stay safe and happy printing!