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3-D Printed Gun Only Lasts 6 Shots

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tech Ninja, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Tech Ninja

    Tech Ninja Well-Known Member

    For those of you who are following 3-D printed firearms:

    Wired Article

    "A group of 3-D printing gunsmiths have taken another step toward making a gun you can download off the internet. This weekend, the desktop weaponeers took a partially printed rifle out to test how long its plastic parts survived spewing bullets. The result? Six rounds until it snapped apart."

    I think I will print myself a Winchester 1873. Someday!
  2. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    I think its neat. I bet it would work better on a 22lr platform
  3. hardheart

    hardheart Well-Known Member

    Why are they doing it in plastic instead of selective laser sintering?
  4. primalmu

    primalmu Well-Known Member

    I doubt SLS 3D printers are available for hobbyists.
  5. Grmlin

    Grmlin Well-Known Member

    The show CSI has already done a story with a printed gun.
  6. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    yeah, SLS printers arent available to much of anyone.......really only multi-million dollar manufacturing companies and high end research facilities are the only ones with enough $$$ to afford one.

    of all the printer technologies currently available, plastic extrusion is really the only one with any chance of creating a usable prototype that doesnt cost more than a pair of the popes shoes.
  7. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    It suffered the same common failure as other polymer lowers, it just did it much sooner. No doubt because it was low grade plastic rather than glass reinforced zytel or nylon 6. And this was a 5.7x28mm, not a 5.56mm, so one can imagine that a single round of 5.56 may have destroyed it.

    Still, pretty neat, and I agree with Jbrady that it probably would have worked with rimfire.

    As for the fears of "undetectable printed plastic guns", well, that's just ridiculous. Guns need metal parts, period. Polymers have come a long way, but there are things that just can't be done. I suppose it would be possible to make a 100% polymer throw-away liberator type pistol that was good for one or two shots of low powered, low pressure ammunition. But somehow I just don't see the criminal element clamoring to buy very expensive printers so they can produce barely useable weapons. They can make those kind with a few dollars worth of pieces and parts from the hardware store.
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Undetectable plastic guns.. what about those fancy graphite or carbon barrels? Are they still sleeved?
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member


    The carbon fiber and graphite add rigidity to a slender barrel tube with very little weight, so you can have a lightweight barrel that shoots like a bull barrel. But those materials cannot directly withstand the forces at work when a bullet is fired. You'll also notice those are most common with rimfires, which don't exert anywhere near the pressure or friction of centerfire rifle rounds.

    For example:

    Volquartsen Match Barrel Ruger 10/22 22 Long Rifle THM Tension .920" Diameter 1 in 16" Twist 16-1/2" Aluminum Sleeve Black

    This barrel features a match grade chamber and hand lapped bore, which makes it very easy to clean and care for. Barrel will vary no more than +/-.0001" from breech to muzzle. Each barrel is digitally measured to ensure exact tolerances. Barrel is .920" in diameter and is drilled and tapped to accept Volquartsen's Barrel Mount Scope Base. This THM (Tensioned Honed Match) barrel has a .473" steel core tensioned between centers with an outer sleeve. Tension is set at the factory. Removing or tampering with end caps voids warranty.

    Firing pins, bolts and barrels need to be steel (or another hard, high tensile strength alloy). There's just really no way around it.
    Other materials may have the yield but not the hardness, or be very hard but too brittle.
  10. If you sit on one, will it reproduce you butt? :D
  11. hardheart

    hardheart Well-Known Member

    Guess I'm a little lost as to the goal. There are easy ways to make a 'thing' that will fire rounds without the need of a 3D printer. I thought maybe they were investigating a viable means of producing firearms with newer technology. Something about applying for a manufacturer license and creating a non-profit just seems to me like they ought to be trying to do something viable and not make disposable and almost assuredly banned-in-a-fit-of-media-outrage items.
  12. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    There are several open source, plastic deposition 3d printer plans on line, with forums of hobby users eager to share their knowledge. Cost to build a Rep Rap is about $500.... And I'm dying to make one!
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The fact that a TV drama has depicted something as part of the plot of a piece of fiction has little bearing on the reality of the state of technology.
  14. LordDunsany

    LordDunsany Well-Known Member

    It will last long enough for you to acquire something better...

    Think along the lines of the Liberator pistol of WWII.

    Ron in Texas
  15. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    exactly why we need not worry about the felons printing masses of guns...

    if you are a felon/ gang member/ ect. are you really going to take the time to build, learn to use, calibrate, print and assemble 1 crappy unfinished firearm.

    or are you going to take that $500 and buy half a dozen well made stolen firearms from your favorite illicit arms dealer.......
  16. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    Things generally improve over time. A lot of people do things with tech just for fun. They made a working firearm from a 3D-printing process that lasted for 6 rounds. That's a nice proof of concept. Now they are open to try new materials, new receiver designs (other than the AR15), new rounds, etc.

    Wouldn't it be neat if we could download a publicly traded "gun file" that we could print on our own 3d printer and print out most of the parts for a viable homemade gun for next to nothing? Well without hobbyists playing around at this stage, that will never happen.
  17. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    Well as far as innovation goes. My hat is off to them. Good to see there are some attempts at innovation occuring. What will this mean for average consumers and hobbyists. Now not a whole bunch. But if you ever get to googling CNC and hobbyists bits regarding guns and fabricating them. You can see where there is a will, there is a way.
  18. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    Heck my imagination got the better of me and this is a fun way to decompress after work.


    Now go get yourself a mill, a CNC setup, carbide cutting bits, and fashion yourself something. At least that's the hope.

    I wonder what would qualify as low-pressure for these 3D guns. A complete plastic gun seems insane. A metal barrel would be necessary with a fully supported chamber.

    I'd attempt duplicating a Ruger MKIII with some obvious and critical differences (avoid a patent suit or some nonsense). If it holds up then maybe a departure into cowboy calibers. A semi-auto 3d/CNC gun that shoots .32 LC would be interesting if a bit completely pointless.

    It's about innovation afterall. The beginning will be a bunch of pointless things till it leads to some great beneficial things.
  19. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    6 rounds in the first prototype is what you call an "interesting failure"

    Lots of room for improvement, at some point the concept of "gun control" will be laughable, because anyone will be able to whomp up a simple gun on short notice.
  20. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    "A metal barrel would be necessary with a fully supported chamber."

    Has anyone done any research on using ceramics --both for the barrel and the rest of it?

    Seems to me it might be possible to make a ceramic barrel with strong cords wrapped around inside it for "pressure-strength." You could form this on a negatively-rifled mandrel, like a hammer-forged barrel, except without the hammering. I'm sure they're doing nifty stuff with other ceramics besides your regular pottery-type coffee-cup clay.

    I mean, like, even silicon carbide is a ceramic, too, right?

    Just noodling it around in my head.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

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