Science Museum displays 3D Printed Gun


A 3D printed gun will be showcased to the public for the first time today, Tuesday 9 July, at the Science Museum. 

The world’s first 3D printed gun was recently created and fired in the US. The gun on display at the Science Museum is the first known version of this design to be fired in Europe.

The gun will be on display in the Museum’s Antenna gallery and will explore the issues surrounding the availability of information on the internet and the implications for design-sharing, home manufacturing, intellectual property and freedom of speech.

Finnish journalist Ville Vaarne downloaded a design for the plastic Liberator gun from the internet. He then arranged for the individual parts to be printed on a 3D printer from Aalto University, Finland. The gun was later assembled at a school for gunsmiths, who have a licence to manufacture firearms. The assembled gun broke while firing its initial shot. This is likely to be because a bullet calibre was more powerful than the gun barrel could withstand. The gun has now been permanently deactivated and can never be fired again. 

Pippa Hough, Exhibition Developer, Science Museum said, “We are hoping this gun  will really get people talking about 3D printing and its many possible applications, as well as the wider question of whether we should be able to download anything from the internet.”

The gun will be the focus of an exhibit entitled, Should you be able to download anything? in the Antenna gallery at the Science Museum from 9 July. It will then become part of an exhibition opening on 9 October - 3D: Printing the Future which looks at the rapidly evolving area of 3D printing and its impact on society.

Visitors can also take part in a whole summer of 3D activities at the Science Museum from 25 July – 1 September.


For further information or images contact Laura Singleton in the Science Museum Press Office on 0207 942 4364 or e-mail:


FREE Entry, Summer opening hours (25 July – 1 Sept): 10:00 - 19.00
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD
0870 870 4868 |

Notes to Editors

About the Science Museum
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

About Antenna
The Antenna gallery explores the latest breakthroughs from the world of science and technology with a programme of exhibitions, displays and live demonstrations on subjects ranging from climate change to particle physics. To find out more visit