I own several firearms. Having shot a number of different calibers and brands, both handguns and rifles, I honestly like the feel of the 1911. It’s one of the guns I carry. It feels like a gun should feel. It is heavy, of course, but is a fantastic gun, plus it packs a mean punch. Over the past year new technology has been developed where people have been using 3D printers to create all sorts of things, including firearms. However, up until now, those weapons have been made of plastic. Today, I’ll show you the first 3D printed metal gun.
The firm that created this particular weapon, Solid Concepts, have a turnaround time of five days.
All of the parts are printed, including the barrel. No machining was performed to produce the parts, though some hand tools were used for post processing. The only parts not printed are the springs used in the 1911.
According to the Solid Concepts blog, points out misconceptions about 3D printing:
Another common misconception about 3D Printing is that it’s limited to desktop printers that can only extrude plastic filament. If I had the time, I would do a complete yearlong series debunking all the myths and misconceptions surrounding 3D Printing. Instead, our engineers went ahead and built something that proves this technology beyond any doubt. So long sad disfigured Yoda heads, no more pretending like that’s going to cut it for this industry.
Laser sintering is one of the most accurate manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the 3D Metal Printed interchangeable and interfacing parts within our 1911 series gun. The gun proves laser sintering can meet tight tolerances. 3D Metal Printing has less porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. The barrel sees chamber pressure above 20,000 psi every time the gun is fired. “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Printing,” says Firestone. “As far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”
I mentioned earlier this isn’t about desktop printers, and it’s not. The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition (and I went to a private university) and the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they’re doing and understand 3D Printing better than anyone in this business. Thanks to them, Solid Concepts is debunking the idea that 3D Printing isn’t a viable solution or isn’t ready for mainstream manufacturing. We have the right materials, and the right engineers who know how to best program and maintain these machines, to make 3D Printing accurate, powerful and here to stay.
Once this concept is perfected, this will more than likely reduce the cost of firearms and there is no doubt that individuals will be able to print their own firearms without government involvement and without government registration.
Think of how many firearms one would be able to crank out for the price of one in the store. The more common the technology, the cheaper the prices will be.
The free market will run with this, provided people like Senator Dianne Feinstein and others don’t go usurping their authority in the marketplace. However, we can count on them at least trying.
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