3D printed firearms

Discussion for firearms and less-lethal equipment.
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mack_silent
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3D printed firearms

Postby mack_silent » Tue May 07, 2013 9:40 am

Found this article and video today. It seems computer 3D printing technology is being used to make firearm components.
The video shows functional: AR magazine, single shot pistol, lower AR receiver... all printed into composite plastic off a 3D printer.
The documentary discusses this technology and the risks to society / current gun control methods.

http://artthreat.net/2013/04/print-your-own-gun/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... consfGsXyA
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Bitterman
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Re: 3D printed firearms

Postby Bitterman » Tue May 07, 2013 6:00 pm

Yeah... Like chicken little says.. " the sky is falling!!

I have to laugh at the comments Bloomberg and his ilk are making...
"Anyone can now build a weapons factory in their garage"

Dude... Anyone could do that anytime before now too...
Any half assed experienced/ novice machinist, with a few basic machines can build guns that are far better and more durable than any 3-d printed junk.

I bet I could build an effective enough shotgun out of supplies from Home Depot.

A grade 11 shop student could probably build a stem gun if he wanted to.
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mack_silent
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Re: 3D printed firearms

Postby mack_silent » Tue May 07, 2013 10:47 pm

I found it funny when the AR lower receiver twice had the stock break off and fall to the ground during test firing.

Printing any non metal parts to withstand the gas exchange pressure of the firearm (barrel, upper, etc) should prove very improbable / dangerous.
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Shawshank
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Re: 3D printed firearms

Postby Shawshank » Fri May 17, 2013 3:34 pm

For the mags, would you still not need metal springs? And how many shots could you really get off from a plastic gun. I would think it would be prone to melting.
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Homer
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Re: 3D printed firearms

Postby Homer » Fri May 17, 2013 6:37 pm

This guy might know about programming the machine to print parts, but he obviously has no clue about calculating strength of materials and stresses (1st year engineering stuff). If he knew any of that, he would have done the calculations to determine how much material was needed to replace the metal. And from his age, it's pretty safe to say that he is not a trained gunsmith - which means he does not fully understand where and how much stress is applied to various parts of the receiver when firing - and which areas can safely be made weaker. Another thing to be aware of is that most composite materials use fibres (such as glass) in the polymer matrix for increased strength and durability. Printing parts does not allow for inclusion of these fibres, which reduces the potential strength for a part of a given size.

There are already a number of applications which successfully use plastic springs. (i.e. Glock handguns may contain a plastic spring in the trigger assembly.) One issue is that the plastic spring will likely be much larger than a steel spring of the same strength. But I can see successfully fabricating a completely plastic magazine - including the spring.

As for the plastic melting, depending on the polymer used pretty high temperatures are tolerable - much hotter than you could hold in your hand. However, increasing temperature will cause significant thermal expansion, generally more than seen in metal parts. Unless thermal expansion is taken into consideration in the manufacture of the part, this could lead to increased friction, which would cause more heat and additional stresses - leading to failure of the part. But, as you suggest there are certain parts in a firearm where temperatures get too high for currently available 'printable' polymers.

Of course, certain parts obviously cannot be safely produced in plastics with current technology. The bolt and locking mechanism (well - maybe if completely re-engineered), firing pin, barrel and chamber are good examples. However, other non-metal materials could be substituted, such as ceramics. If you were really serious about making an' untraceable' gun for just a shot or two, it wouldn't be that difficult. Of course, you are looking at $20k+ for a small printer, so traditionally manufactured firearms are not in any way endangered. And fabricating that one-off gun is still a lot cheaper done with a lathe and milling machine.
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super_sonic
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Re: 3D printed firearms

Postby super_sonic » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:57 pm

mack_silent wrote:I found it funny when the AR lower receiver twice had the stock break off and fall to the ground during test firing.

Printing any non metal parts to withstand the gas exchange pressure of the firearm (barrel, upper, etc) should prove very improbable / dangerous.



The guy is probably going to blow his hand or face off one these days.

Anyway, I find him to be really creepy for some reason.
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