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Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Kozel, Oct 8, 2012.
Could this be realistic?
In the future who knows but from what I have read the materials used will not hold up to recoil, uv, heat and several other long term factors. But trust me I am no expert just a guy that enjoys reading this kind of stuff. There have been some AR lowers done like this but I doubt that they will have the same long term performance as aluminum and AR 15 have a very little impact on the lowers compared to say pistol frames.
I don't know - can he print a spring? How about a steel tube with internal rifling? If he can't do that, I can go pick up $20 worth of parts at Home Depot and make a better gun.
Hint to newbs - guns, even Glocks, are not made from plastic.
I used to play a table top miniature war game that used this technology when doing their first runs from cad files before they went to production molds. As far as i know they were simply plastic solid figures. After the first run they would make a mold for metal production. How it basicly works is in 3d consider your old dot matrix printers. You plug your info in about how many thousands on an inch such and such dimension is and the "printer" lays down that pattern in so many thousands per pass as it slowly builds your 3d model. As far as modern metalurgy goes with differnt hardnesses of metals and property of springs to consider. I think its just dreaming.
I have experience with rapid prototyping. The objects that come out are more akin to cornstarch and glue rather than heavy duty polymers.
I can see someone buying a parts kit for a gun online or assembling a kit from various parts, and then using this technology to create a receiver to get around restrictions on felons, locales not friendly to guns, or traceability by the ATF.
at this point in time its no big deal but in a few years who knows
"Hey man! What kind of gun is that?"
"That's a Glock 7!"
Once they come up with home CNC machines perhaps. The stuff out there right now just doesn't have the material properties.
It's ok, we all know they're made of porcelain.
Here you go, http://www.smithy.com/cnc/1240-mill/pricing
Or you could go old school and just Mill it by hand.
Yep - people have been able to make guns at home since guns were invented. In fact, they used to make them without anywhere near the tools and technology people have in their basements and garages today. Only liberal anti-gunners don't seem to know that, so they think the technology t make a non-functional gun replica is a big deal.
When my uncle worked for ATF he told us about busting a guy making MAC-10 copies in his garage, here in KY. If you can use tools and understand how guns work, you can make one.
This is exactly what people (who don't understand the limitations of the process) said about 25 years ago when I first started using it to make rapid prototypes. The strength and other properties of the materials that can be used in 3D printing (with plastic) are terribly limited in comparison to injection molded plastics.
As a method of making inaccurate (+/- .010" is typical) prototypes for show and tell meetings with executives, it's been a good invention and it's been a big help to a lot of engineers. As far as it's future potential as a mass production method - there's almost no potential there, so don't hold your breath. There are newer machine out nmow that can print with metals instead of plastics, and their accuracy is better, but the length of time consumed by the process prohibits it from ever being a mass production method.
And as for it being a new thing - that allows small time inventors to make complicated prototypes on their kitchen tables - not new at all. For a couple of decades now anyone with CAD software capable of exporting an STL file can send out for this service for so little money that it makes almost no sense to buy your own crappy table top 3D printer when for less than 100 bucks you can have somebody else with a 100,000 dollar machine make you a much better quality part instead, and Fed Ex it to you within 48 hours. I do this all the time, and I'm not even considering ever buying a cheap little desk top model. The recent availability of these cheap desk top models is what I think has created the impression that this is all something new.