Company uses 3-D printing to make steel handgun
The fabrication of these pieces is a revolution of sorts, and the military is probably watching closely to see what happens next.
Now the folks at Solid Concepts have successfully produced one of these handguns (pictured), all steel and all 3-D-printed.
Fabricating 3-D weapons has come a long way in a short period.
Just within the past year, a Texas company called Defense Distributed made headlines for creating 3-D-printed weapons. But it had problems producing pieces that could stand the heat and pressure.
From the Solid Concepts press release:
It is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip. The successful production and functionality of the 1911 3D Printed metal gun proves the viability of 3D Printing for commercial applications.
Already, special operations teams out in the middle of who-knows-where have support from "expeditionary labs" that draw and print custom pieces of gear, based entirely on the military operator's specifications.
President Barack Obama has also promised $200 million for a 3-D printing initiative in the Defense Department.
Certainly, the fabrication of stainless-steel pieces is a revolution of sorts, and planners in the military are probably watching closely for what happens next.
As for .45-caliber pistols, Solid Concepts maintains that the pieces are not machined but entirely "grown" in 3-D printers.
Laser sintering is one of the most accurate manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the 3-D Metal Printed interchangeable and interfacing parts within our 1911 series gun. The gun proves laser sintering can meet tight tolerances.
3-D 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 3-D printing," said Kent Firestone, Solid Concepts' vice president of additive manufacturing. "As far as we know, we're the only 3-D printing service provider with a federal firearms license. Now if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver."
Mentioning the license is no mistake. Certainly the idea of 3-D printing of small arms has caused a bit of a stir in the weapons-control community. Cody Wilson, the owner of Defense Distributed, ran into this problem, but at the time of his troubles -- last summer and late last year -- he did not yet hold a federal firearms license.
Certainly the implications of this new technology -- both for domestic and federal use, as well as for military and humanitarian use -- are nothing short of staggering.
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They can slant anything they want to, this article is missing some important information...
1. The printer used is expensive, we are talking about hundreds off thousands of dollars.
2. it was done by a team of engineers who have been in this type of production for awhile. The company itself has been around since the early 90's.
3. The company did this to show how dmls (the type of printing) has real world application and that the technology does work. What better way than a gun, with the tolerances and stress it requires to fire one.
What ever happened to when journalism used to tell the whole story and not just an abridge version to suit their needs?
Now Obama is going to require us to have a permit for our printer.
He wouldn't want people turning to God, guns and printers now, would he. He only wants us to turn to him.
Don't really see this as a "practical" application of a developing technology , but that won't stop the "gun-grabbers" from snide comments . They won't be happy till there are no guns anywhere , and the unicorns graze peacefully , with butterfies flittering everywhere .
And "they" will never notice as Comrade Obumbler leads us quietly to the Gulag , "for the good of many" , "over the advantage of a few" !
And these are the same people who thought the ACA was going to "fix" another "crisis" for everyone . Guess the word "Consequence" never enters their "nirvana" mind-set , but even the word "Gun" causes terror for them . As does words like responsibility , personal freedom , Constitution , Bill of Rights .......
t may come down too. What is fascinating to me is the other possibilities. Think about someone restoring an old car and he needs a part. turnaround time could be days instead of months. Think how mush faster it will be to make prototypes. The possibilities are almost endless.
For all practical purpose, gun control is dead, which, effectively, kills socialism.
Socialism, can not exist with an armed citizenry..
The socialists count on being able to pass laws like Canada's hate speech laws, which will never stand in the face of an armed citizenry.
First, a FFL is not required to manufacture a gun. To commercially produce and sell wholesale, yes. To manufacture for your own use, no. I've made several for my own use in the past two years. No big deal.
Second, the printer used here costs somewhere around three-quarters of a million bucks. I doubt anyone is going to go to that expense to produce a firearm that can be legally purchased for around $500 if you're not brand conscious (Hi Standard rather than Colt).
So a 3D printer can do rifling inside a barrel? I find that hard to believe.
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