It made for a shocking headline – the first case of suspected criminals using a 3D printer to make their own gun.
But the breathless claims made by Greater Manchester Police on Thursday night were cast into doubt yesterday – after it emerged that the two "gun parts" discovered by officers may actually have been parts of the 3D printer itself.
The MakerBot Replicator 2 printer was seized during a raid on a workshop in Baguley, Greater Manchester, on Thursday as part of an operation targeting organised crime.
A Sky News crew happened to be on the raid, and within hours the story was running hard, with Greater Manchester Police hailing the two items – which appeared to be a trigger and gun magazine – as a "really significant discovery".
But it was quickly pointed out that the items bore an uncanny resemblance to legal spare printer parts – a filament spool holder and part of a spring-loaded drive block. Then the toyshopkeeper whose workshop had been raided issued a tearful denial claiming the items were parts of the printer which he uses to make models.
The 38-year-old man, who wanted to be known only as Andrew, described how 30 officers swarmed over his premises where the printer was kept.
"To label them as gun parts is absolutely ridiculous," he said. (© Independent News Service)