Skip to comments.World’s First 3D Printed Metal Gun (printed 1911 .45acp)
Posted on 11/08/2013 5:16:56 PM PST by servo1969
(image courtesy of solidconcepts.com)
Let me start out by saying one, very important thing: This is not about desktop 3D Printers.
Solid Concepts is a world leader of 3D Printing services, and our ability to 3D Print the worlds first metal gun solidifies our standing. The gun is a classic 1911, a model that is at once timeless and public domain. It functions beautifully: Our resident gun expert has fired 50 successful rounds and hit a few bulls eyes at over 30 yards. The gun is composed of 30+ 3D Printed components with 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 materials. We completed it with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) 3D Printed hand grip, because were kind of crazy about 3D Printing.
Worlds First 3D Printed Metal Gun [video]
The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy and usability of 3D Metal Printing as functional prototypes and end use products, says Solid Concepts Vice President of Additive Manufacturing Kent Firestone. Its a common misconception that laser sintering isnt accurate or strong enough, and were working to change peoples perspective.
Another common misconception about 3D Printing is that its 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 thats going to cut it for this industry.
(image courtesy of solidconcepts.com)
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. Were 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, were 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 isnt about desktop printers, and its 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 theyre doing and understand 3D Printing better than anyone in this business. Thanks to them, Solid Concepts is debunking the idea that 3D Printing isnt a viable solution or isnt 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.
Weve been getting a lot of questions (which is lovely) so I wanted to address a few of them here.
The gun is 45ACP. Its rifled and the rifling was built directly into the part or as we like to say, grown into the part using 3D Printing. This gun has NOT BEEN MACHINED. We used hand tools for some post processing (our finishers are wonderful), but we did not machine this gun. Its born this way.
How Metal Sintering Works [video]
Slide looks a lot better than a Springfield I recently saw.
When is it going to be fired???
It has been. Watch video.
I once grew a spear from a tree...
I want one of those machines at home...but it’s going to be a year or two before they come down... </sarc>
I do agree, with the guy that these 3D machines that print plastic crap are mostly a novelty - great for learning, or for prototyping, perhaps.
gee golly maybe soon they will be able to print a real 3d POTUS instead of the crappy 2 color press the msm printed one dimensional obama on
Yes, I’ve used them for prototyping.
I wonder what kind of finish machining may be required to the chamber, or running a broach or hammer forging die through it. Or any additional heat treating if the sintering process couldn’t do it.
I’s be happy with a 3d printer to at least make 3d polymer wall hangers of guns I’d never own MP5, STGW, Fal, G11, SPAS 12, the list goes on.
The only thing it looks like they didnt print were the springs.
They specifically say the rifling was as-printed, not added post process.
Some parts were hand polished later, and a prudent person would verify that the lands don’t intrude past the 1911 spec, and that the chamber is smooth enough to allow the spent casing to be ejected.
Also besides the springs [tempered steel], no grip screws or grip screw bushings that screw into the frame. Threaded parts must be, for the time, beyond the capabilities of this technology. But just for now... :)
This, fracking and fusion may save us.
If we could just print some ammo.
STOP CASTING POROSITY!
Any idea of the vintage? I have a 1911 manufactured in the Springfield Armory on 1914 (have to take it to the range some time after its 100th birthday) and it is still tight/smooth/accurate/dependable. Dad picked it up in the early '50s and maintained it with "loving care" and passed it to me when he passed. Still has the original two-tone mags.
Today a $5000 machine can deliver the same results and MUCH faster speed. They are promising machines for half that price for the holidays. They are getting small, cheap and fast enough for real manufacturing.
I did after I dumbly posted.... looked like it jammed after two shots but maybe that’s what it was supposed to do
good looking gun though....technology is well understood
Oh, it was a newer, stainless job. Lots of warp in the reflection off the slide. Shot like crap, the owner told me. Happy 100th to your pistol!