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The various three dimensional printing technologies is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but there are reoccurring references to advancements in the field here and elsewhere.

Where do you see 3D printed firearms and accessories going in the next ten years? Any advancements, untapped markets, interesting designs only possible with such technology, et al., do you see coming? :)
 
I would think 3D printed guns and parts will be more common as the technology improves and is proven. We're already seeing a bunch of printed suppressors on the market. My guess is that firearms will be the same thing they are today, except with 3D instead of MIM parts. Really anything that can be made faster/cheaper via 3D will be done. What I'd really be interested to see is a barrel that's stronger, lighter and cheaper than a CHF which I think could be done with the right advancements
 
Where do you see 3D printed firearms and accessories going in the next ten years? Any advancements, untapped markets, interesting designs only possible with such technology, et al., do you see coming? :)
My guess is two things.
1) the gun industry will possibly move to modular compatibility designs for all new guns. No more just buying a whole brand name gun like Glock.
2) private manufacturing of guns will either be fully prohibited or will end attempts at gun control once the technology is complete.


to see what new innovations are already being designed check out the photogallery ...
 
:s0153: I had NO IDEA these were being 3D printed now ....

1677444042562.png

(... and, what's with the circumflex?)
 
2) private manufacturing of guns will either be fully prohibited or will end attempts at gun control once the technology is complete.
Sadly, we've already started see a move on this with all the "ghost gun" rhetoric. I can only imagine the tizzy fit when metal 3D printing comes down in price.
 
Sadly, we've already started see a move on this with all the "ghost gun" rhetoric. I can only imagine the tizzy fit when metal 3D printing comes down in price.
they will continue to try. The problem is the technology is used for other things and they cant stop the technology. Once 3D printing becomes cost effective to print metal theres no stopping the ease of making guns. They can make private manufacturing illegal or posession or whatever come up with illegal all they want ,but the technology will just proliferate the black market and suddenly all the provisions of gun control to keep prohibited people from buying guns is out the window.
 
Beyond silencers, a couple areas that would be neat:

  • Having hard to find parts printed to order. It would keep older or unusual guns running.
  • Maybe the reproduction market will change. Right now there are economic factors that make many such projects untenable. However, maybe this is a game changer. (Perhaps repo Mausers C ̷ 96s will finally happen. Not holding my breath. :s0112:)
 
3D printing is already making design and development of new guns much easier. Here's a great example of how small shops are putting simple 3D printers like the Ender 3 to use...


 
Once the technology gets to a point where it's possible to 3d print metal with the same strength as forged metal craft; expect some quite innovative ideas firearms related... hell, a high temp 3d print system that instead of filaments, it's molten metal... imagine a monolithic barrel/upper receiver system that accepts AR parts...
 
If 3D printing can be done with metal....

It would be nice to make magazines for older firearms that are uncommon.
Or....
Make your own whatever you wish capacity magazine...
'Course you must take your chances with whatever laws / bans / restrictions are out there.
Andy
 
Make your own whatever you wish capacity magazine...
Im actually wondering why 3D printing magazines hasnt taken off yet?

IIRC Magpul brand magazines done use any metal parts except the spring, seems like we should be seeing more privately made magazines out there.
 
Several 3d printing technologies are certainly helpful for firearms development today outside of FDM (your home ender3 style printer). Don't get me wrong they do work, but there are other options out there that are commercially available and as services for reasonable pricing that I find more helpful.

Plastics/Polymers:
Selective Laser Slithering (SLS)
of Nylon and fiber infused Nylons make parts that basically that plug in with high accuracy. It uses a laser over a bed of nylon powder to fuse a solid part. The pricing has come down that for smaller runs it blows away the cost of injection molds or on parts impossible for injection molding. The turn around is solid and the consistency is there with high accuracies that make FDM home printers look like the hot glue guns they are.

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is very similar in terms of product to SLS but the accuracy is a tiny bit worse. On the upside there is less material waste and the process is faster as you do a scan line instead of a laser point. It almost looks like an inject printer that runs the bed and then a light fuses the layers sprayed. It is also tightly controlled by HP so the consistency between batches is there. This means the price is overall less. You could certainly do small run parts with this tech.

Resin Printing (SLA/DLP/LCD) is great for local prototyping. The basic idea is a UV light is exposed to a sensitive resin in lasers. The new engineering resins do a good job giving decent strength in all directions of the print and fairly high accuracy. Recently they are coming out with engineering type resins that are skin safe which was always their major draw back in my opinion. My personal testing has show enough strength for general things like handguards/grips etc but over time the resin does tend to get more brittle. Still if you are doing prototyping this is the best printer to start with for the buck for general work for something that could translate to precision machining later. When they are tuned their accuracy can challenge the SLS printers. They also have high temp resins that can be used to make injection molds for small run parts.

Metals:
Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
is shockingly accurate. It uses a laser just like SLS to melt the steel powder. Parts will likely still need final machining or hand fitting. I have seen 17-4 and 316L parts made and even after machining you can't find voids or layer lines. This is the most expensive type but for small replacement parts is viable. The stainless parts I have had come back had a rockwell hardness C of 28. Certainly in the 17-4 has direct carry over to wear parts. I also am not yet ready to say they could handle pressures seen in chambers etc though. The finish usually comes out sand blasted. Apparently you can get this in Inconel as well, but I haven't tried it yet.

Binderjet is a bronze infused process. It is close to the first part of MJF is a 420 stainless but they then inject it with bronze (40%) to do the final fusion of the part. After everything is finished baking it has nearly a 40 ish rockwell C hardness and near strength to a 4140. It doesn't have the elongations though. It is a very weird product to work with and won't take to tapping. It is like a bronze/stainless sponge pulling properties of both. You need to oversize dimensions and treat it like a casting. It machines beautifully with carbide. There are other materials such as 300 series stainless they can binderjet but I haven't tried them as the properties aren't up to a strength that was needed.

These are just the ones I have played with for doing some firearms related development projects as an 07. I will say though my goals are never to completely make a gun out of plastic someone can print at home. I use the 3d printing as a tool for prototyping or for furniture. Most of my time still is on the CNC machines, manual lathe and mill and sometimes with the stones working chrome moly and 400 series stainless steels.
I suspect the future will see much more modularity but the pressure bearing and tight tolerance pieces will likely still be machined and heat treated.

In mass production it is still impossible to match the pricing and the plastic selection in injection molding. I do see 3d printing be used for creative piece where injection molding or machining can't create a solution cost effectively.
 
Per the legalities ... I believe the Supreme Court eventually will affirm the 2nd amendment covers making your own but the question of serialization may come up.

Oregon is busy with HB2005 trying to outlaw the private manufacturing of firearms. There is no way I saw per the law to get a serial number to make one such as California. I emailed the reps but was ignored when I asked.

There is the Delaware ghost gun case to watch:
we need to see this pushed to the supreme court or have Washingtons or Californias pushed up the 9th.
 
Surprised this didn't get mentioned. There are Krupp process branded steels that cast very well. These alloys are well known and don't require complicated equipment like vacuum casting.

Lost PLA is a thing. These cores can be made with a near 100% outer skin and as little as a 25% core to speed things along. This process would drastically reduce machining time. Just think, magwell?

This is not your run of the mill cast iron what if. This is a viable, cast, heat treatable steel that you can pour.

Although better suited to rapid prototyping Lost PLA works, and works now.

Lost wax and the same steel alloys. In this case the wax molds are reusable.

If you must have forged you can get around it for small scale manufacturing by modifying a small pile driver. No hiding the noise but it can be done. In any case the forging dies are similar for either case.

We'll probably see wire EDM before SLM in the small shop. Just an opinion but it is what it is.

Magazines are usually a four step process with variations.
A stamping die, cut to size.
A primary and secondary die for the features in the magazine.
A bending die
And a jig to weld the seam and floor plate.
The spring has been well understood for over a century.
The follower is a bit of voodoo but not that difficult.
The above processes can be combined or other processes added , like the extra features of a double stack with or without an internal die to swag it onto.

The weapon and the magazine are not the only front our freedoms are being attacked on however.
Lead
Copper
brass
Simply the raw materials. Do you really think California proposition 65 was about health?
Primers. Do you even have a clue about the common formulas for primers and how tightly controlled and regulated they are? If not by toxicity then politically controlling the economy so that the bulk of the ingredients are used elsewhere.
that
Once it becomes ammunition shortages can be manufactured as easily as the ammunition itself.
Millions of rounds of ammunition just disappear off a rail siding or dock. Do you really think that happens without forethought and planning?
Do you really think the deal to operate the Lake City Munitions factory getting adjusted in mid contract so that there was little if any "surplus" for the civilian market was an accident?
It's a complete surprise that alphabet agencies that never before had a budget for ammunition are now buying up millions of rounds of ammunition.

The real problem isn't citizen manufactured weapons. It isn't even the ammunition to feed them.
The real problem the megalomaniacs that somehow keep getting elected to public office.
No matter how you prepare against the inevitable, all these tyrants have to do print more money in order to make yours worth less, while they tilt supply and demand even further in their favor.

This is becoming and unintended political rant. My apologies. Print away...
 
Every single thing has a supply chain, but the thing about technology is it makes it easier to start lower on the supply chain but heres the catch regarding guns.... with components that are used for other common things that cant be requlated as guns.
 
The weapon and the magazine are not the only front our freedoms are being attacked on however.
Lead
Copper
brass
Simply the raw materials. Do you really think California proposition 65 was about health?
Primers. Do you even have a clue about the common formulas for primers and how tightly controlled and regulated they are? If not by toxicity then politically controlling the economy so that the bulk of the ingredients are used elsewhere.
that
Once it becomes ammunition shortages can be manufactured as easily as the ammunition itself.
Millions of rounds of ammunition just disappear off a rail siding or dock. Do you really think that happens without forethought and planning?
Do you really think the deal to operate the Lake City Munitions factory getting adjusted in mid contract so that there was little if any "surplus" for the civilian market was an accident?
It's a complete surprise that alphabet agencies that never before had a budget for ammunition are now buying up millions of rounds of ammunition.
Personally this is where I see the most room in the market for innovation and where regulation will start to go. They are already trying to say ammunition isn't covered by the 2nd.

I hear air rifles are getting impressive these days lol.
 

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