I’ve got more machines than that, formal schooling in gunsmithing and engineering, and I’m quite optimistic on 3D printing’s future in gun parts.
People used to pooh-pooh MIM parks. Most all major companies use MIM in the lockwork today.
People used to pooh-pooh composites. I was one who did. The Glock changed my mind. I’ve seen, handled and fired Cav Arms lowers (complete with buttstock) that are durable as a rock. The lower of an AR obviously can be made with composites. There’s at least three companies I know of making polymer lower receivers *today* - right now.
The rate of change in the additive machining technologies out there is astounding. It took us from about 1960 to the 1990’s to achieve easily deployable 5-axis CNC machining. That’s 30+ years.
We’ve gone from mere dreaming to actual usable parts coming out of additive machines (especially in medical devices, where the market can pay for the amortized cost of the “real” machines - none of which are being used in guns yet) in about 15 years, and the technology works and works well. As I keep up on machining stuff, I’m astounded at the rate of change in both CNC machining and additive machining. EIther way anyone wants to look at it, the ability to manufacture what’s required to make a firearm in quantity is coming down - rapidly.
However.. after about 1973? I quit trying to keep up with every technology change in every field. It's impossible. The rate of change outstripped my ability to absorb it.
And I was also very interested in human reproductive biology... It happens to young men.
But I did learn to never say never. I can't keep up with the technology in every case, but do skip over the high points as trends emerge.
My personal opinion (which is worth what you paid for it) is that 3-D manufacturing, whether additive, subractive, or some combination, is going to change the world before I shuffle off this mortal coil.