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3D Printing of Magazines Used by Kel-Tec for Three Years

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dean Weingarten, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Dean Weingarten

    Dean Weingarten Well-Known Member

    3D printed magazines have been successfully used by Kel-Tec for three years, I discovered at the NSSF Shot Show in Las Vegas yesterday. I talked to Tobias Obermeit, Lead Design Engineer at Kel-Tec, one of the most innovative firearms manufacturers in the United States. Mr. Obermeit said that "Without 3D printing, the PMR-30 would not have been developed, especially the magazine." Mr. Obermeit informed me that a prototype magazine would be printed and then be used for 100 to 150 rounds, when they would develop cracks. The magazine would then be discarded and another magazine printed.

    Tobias Obermeit holding a PMR-30 and a normal capacity magazine. The magazine holds 30 .22WMR cartridges.

    I asked Mr. Obermeit if the printer used to prototype the magazines was a special, industrial grade machine. He said no, it was basically the same machine used by hobbyists today, using the same basic materials.

    This is important information for the debate on banning detachable magazines in the United States. If anyone who wishes can print out magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, then it makes no sense to ban them from the general population.

    The PMR-30 is one of Kel-Tec's popular designs, using the .22 WMR round, a rimfire cartridge. The standard PMR-30 magazine holds 30 rounds.

    In related events, Congressman Steve Israel has called for strict control over 3-D printers to prevent magazines from being printed.

    Dean Weingarten

    Congressman Israel Link

    Picture and links at the site:

  2. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    Can you please explain how 3D printing works &the technology behind it? Thanks!
  3. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

  4. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Very simply, a 3d printer is a machine that, in many cases, uses a spool of plastic similar to what you put in a weed eater. You open up some 3d software and load up a file containing the 3d information for an item that you want, and then the 3d printer feeds the weed eater material through a head that heats it up and squirts it out (similar to a hot glue gun, but much more precise) in the same shape as the 3d file.

    Basically, a 3d printer works by depositing plastic in a 3d shape, vs. a 2d printer that just deposits ink on paper.

    As a result, in theory, a 3d printer can be used to easily make many small and useful objects.

    Also, you wouldn't necessarily need to be able to use CAD or 3d modeling software to design a shape, as the 3d printing community is, by and large, dedicated to the ideals of creative commons and open source, and as a result, many people who create the files containing the 3d data of a particular object will freely share them on the web for anyone who wants to download and print out their own copies of the objects.

    is a website where a lot of people share the 3d files for the objects they've created.

    DEFCAD is the gun-related equivalent, where they have posted many gun-related 3d files that can be downloaded, shared, and used to create the objects within.
  5. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    Thanks for explaining that. Learn something new all the time! Will look into it. Thanks again!
  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    How many others know that the origin of the printer was just this application? It was originally thought of to use with concrete to build low cost housing. Just set up the equipment and let the "printer" build walls.
  7. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    Wow! This is great! Maybe a new hobby for me! COOL! THANKS AGAIN!
  8. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    That is so cool.
  9. kwguy

    kwguy Well-Known Member

    To the OP. I understand where you are coming from, and the 3d printing technology is cool, but I don't believe that will negate the fact that if they want to make magazines illegal, they can still do so. Using older technology, one can still make magazines. There are plenty of things that are illegal that are easy to do.
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    One can grow marajuana or cook meth but the are still illegal to possess, at least at the federal level in most locations.

    With 3D printers, we will get a new government program to waste tax dollars, "The War on Magazines".

    A new cottage industry for the mob and cartels to get involved in.

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