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Thread: A fully 3D Printed Metal 1911 Pistol

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    A fully 3D Printed Metal 1911 Pistol

    It was bound to eventually happen, but I did not think it would be so soon. The company Solid Concepts has printed an entire 1911 pistol with a 3D laser metal sintering printer. What is more, the company has an FFL Manufacturing license and can print guns on behalf of customers with a five day turnaround. You provide them with a suitable CAD model and they will print it for you. This video shows their all-printed 1911 being fired. What is even more amazing is that they printed the barrel, including the rifling grooves. There was no machining whatsoever involved in the manufacturing of this gun.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...l-1911-pistol/
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    Last edited by zack991; 11-07-2013 at 11:55 PM.
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    Did not look as smooth as a regular 1911 .. slide issues ...

    You can mill one too ...

    5 day turn around ... unless the HP printer runs out of ink lol

    This is all really a fad IMO ... at least for the next 10 yrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    This is all really a fad IMO ... at least for the next 10 yrs.
    You sound like a guy that would poo-poo the Internet back in 1999. "It'd just a fad. Pfft."

    3d printing is about the furthest thing from a fad. I'd go so far as to say it's the next big technological advance in manufacturing, and it won't take 10 years to realize. Just a couple years ago "3d printing" was all but unheard of, especially at the consumer level.

    I don't understand the negativity.

    Someone manufactures a functioning 1911 from scratch from a 3d printer, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, and your response is "Meh, it looks a bit rough..."

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    No recoil spring. All Uncle Sam has to do is to slap a $1000 tax on springs, or outlaw springs except when purchased through a FFL. The Bound Book will be full of CBCs for the purchase of springs.....serial number checks to see if your spring was involved in a crime.

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    Springs have enough functions that they could be sold fairly in the open under a different guise, much like pipe diameter converters are. Of course a gun could already be made with a CNC machine and etc. I really like the 4 winds shotgun for its simplicity. In principle once these advance a bit they should enable large-scale production by individuals, which is what their real benefit is. 3D printing a rifle would be a lot more important though in that context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    No recoil spring. All Uncle Sam has to do is to slap a $1000 tax on springs, or outlaw springs except when purchased through a FFL. The Bound Book will be full of CBCs for the purchase of springs.....serial number checks to see if your spring was involved in a crime.
    Good luck with that! Springs make the world go round. I think within a decade we'll be able to easily print our own guns.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    No recoil spring. All Uncle Sam has to do is to slap a $1000 tax on springs, or outlaw springs except when purchased through a FFL. The Bound Book will be full of CBCs for the purchase of springs.....serial number checks to see if your spring was involved in a crime.
    "I need my springs...Bit**h !" said Mr. Hooks

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    SWEET and great news
    "It was bound to eventually happen, but I did not think it would be so soon."

    My thoughts exactly. I read the title and though, wow, that was fast...

    So it's a little rough. Could you not just finish it by hand to smooth out the edges?

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    Sooo,,,,

    They dont print Springs,,, no problem,, actually, they are easy to wind them your self!
    They do print,,, pins...
    Do they print,,, screws??? no problem, they are cheap at the store...
    Can they print,,, screw threads in the holes??? that would really be some thing!

    What they do is Incredible,,, but their must be much hand work
    and parts going into making it ready to really fire!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    "It was bound to eventually happen, but I did not think it would be so soon."

    My thoughts exactly. I read the title and though, wow, that was fast...

    So it's a little rough. Could you not just finish it by hand to smooth out the edges?
    Yea, I would say you would do the finish work like any other 1911. Also take the power from governments attempt to control free men. I hope this gets cheaper so everyone can do it.
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    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    How do they print rifling? Or is it milled later? My assumption is they just "print" the flat pieces and still use traditional means to lathe, mill, thread, etc. the reast of the pieces.

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    How do they print rifling? Or is it milled later? My assumption is they just "print" the flat pieces and still use traditional means to lathe, mill, thread, etc. the reast of the pieces.
    From the article:
    What is even more amazing is that they printed the barrel, including the rifling grooves. There was no machining whatsoever involved in the manufacturing of this gun.
    It's hard (for me anyway) to explain how they do it, but it is possible. The video in the article shows a bit of the process, but you really need to do a fair bit of reading / research to get a good understanding of how it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    It's hard (for me anyway) to explain how they do it, but it is possible. The video in the article shows a bit of the process, but you really need to do a fair bit of reading / research to get a good understanding of how it works.
    What is so hard to explain? It is similar to a 2D printer. The only difference is that there is now a Y coordinate.
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    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    What is so hard to explain? It is similar to a 2D printer. The only difference is that there is now a Y coordinate.
    Except if you have a 5 inch barrel how do you "print" a rifling perfect from top to bottom? Disregard, I'll look it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    "It was bound to eventually happen, but I did not think it would be so soon."

    My thoughts exactly. I read the title and though, wow, that was fast...

    So it's a little rough. Could you not just finish it by hand to smooth out the edges?
    Smooth out the edges? You mean like, go shooting a lot, file down rough fabrication marks, and perform maintenance on the gun?
    Never heard of it (coming from a guy who carries a 1911....).
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77zach View Post
    Good luck with that! Springs make the world go round. I think within a decade we'll be able to easily print our own guns.
    Shouldn't that read, "Springs make the world go back and forth?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    From the article:

    It's hard (for me anyway) to explain how they do it, but it is possible. The video in the article shows a bit of the process, but you really need to do a fair bit of reading / research to get a good understanding of how it works.
    I would guess that for the barrel, just print "looking down the barrel". Start scanning at the breech and work your way "up" the bore. If the laser beam focus is tiny enough, I imagine you could get passable rifling grooves.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    That's how I was picturing the barrel being printed, also. Seems like it would be easier to print polygonal rifling, though, doesn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    No recoil spring. All Uncle Sam has to do is to slap a $1000 tax on springs, or outlaw springs except when purchased through a FFL. The Bound Book will be full of CBCs for the purchase of springs.....serial number checks to see if your spring was involved in a crime.
    While a certain poundage (no bad thoughts!) of resistance is needed from the springs, you would be surprised how ingenuous the lowly "civilian*" can be:

    http://www.fraternalorderoflawenforc...eapons%202.pdf

    *(that is what we are called in the PDF)
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    That's how I was picturing the barrel being printed, also. Seems like it would be easier to print polygonal rifling, though, doesn't it?
    Even if it were limited to smoothbore, wouldn't the firearm still go bang? I'm looking at this 1911-printing like the printing of the all-plastic 3-D printed "Liberator": while the firearm itself wasn't made for repeated firing and prolonged abuse, the gun still went bang, and I wouldn't want to be shot by one either.
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

    "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." - Edmund Burke

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Young Man View Post
    Even if it were limited to smoothbore, wouldn't the firearm still go bang?...
    No question. And someone that wanted to print one out for a close-range murder certainly wouldn't bother with rifling. But then someone with an $800,000 printer probably has even more effective means at his disposal anyway.
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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    What is so hard to explain? It is similar to a 2D printer. The only difference is that there is now a Y coordinate.
    Right, that explains everything.

    Perhaps what I should have said is that it would take a lot to explain, more than I'm willing to devote in a forum like this, especially not knowing what level of technical competence the audience possesses.
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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    No question. And someone that wanted to print one out for a close-range murder certainly wouldn't bother with rifling. But then someone with an $800,000 printer probably has even more effective means at his disposal anyway.
    That rahht thaer is the crux'a the matter. So while antis let loose with their screams about "think of the children" and "it's too easy to make a gun", not just anyone has access to such complex and costly machinery right now, or likely in the next 10 years (the plastic printers, maybe).

    Just for funnsies, take a look at what a chunk of metal, some epoxy, a drill, and common (easily-obtained) chisel and metal file, along with some elbow grease and good 'ol dedication can get you, in 9x18 Makarov:

    http://www.guns.com/2013/05/13/homemade-glock-9-photos/
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

    "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." - Edmund Burke

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Right, that explains everything.

    Perhaps what I should have said is that it would take a lot to explain, more than I'm willing to devote in a forum like this, especially not knowing what level of technical competence the audience possesses.
    I apologize, I thought everyone knew how normal printers work.

    The printer receives the file from the computer. The file contains information stating were each pixel goes (x,y) and the printer puts that pixel there.

    A 3D printer in the most simplest terms does the exact same thing with (x,y,z). I erroneously put y coordinate, it is a z.

    A fine powdered layer of material (basically the paper) is laid down and a laser "prints" (turning the paper into the ink) the shape. What is printed hardens, the rest remains a powder.

    A new layer is added on top (the z) and the process repeats itself.

    I think the part can be made in either direction, it would be the same process.

    I guess it is just this, just with metal.
    Last edited by 09jisaac; 11-09-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    What is so hard to explain? It is similar to a 2D printer. The only difference is that there is now a Y coordinate.
    No, a 2d printer uses an X and Y system the 3D adds the Z. X is width, Y is depth, and Z is height.

    What is interesting to me at least is that they used inconel for parts like the spring and hammer. Then the printer uses a sintered 17-4. I would want to know what the sintering material was, what the melt metal is what I am curious about. I have heard of using sintered Aluminum for making AR15 lowers and uppers. Sintering Al for that purpose requires a sintering oven and seems to require magnesium and the correct moisture level to sinter properly. From what I could find on it was that they were stronger than the cast parts and on par with the billet parts.

    The fact that this is being done with 17-4 SS is amazing to me at least. For being laser sintered it really does not look bad at all. Would a machined one look better and be smoother at this time? Yes, sure. Why? Because it's being around longer and we know how to handle cutting metal in such ways to make it smoother and prettier. The fact that this was used to make a 1911 means that the world of manufacturing had just taken almost a quantum leap forward. It's going to be something that machine shops are going to have to start adding to their tool boxes or suffer.
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