Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

3D Printed AR15 Much Improved, More Reliable

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dean Weingarten, Jan 11, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,452
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Funny I was just thinking the other day. There is local gun buy-back going on this weekend and they are giving $200 per "assault rifle". So I wonder what would happen if you printed off 100 AR lowers and took them to a buy-back:D
     
  2. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,291
    Those printers won't work for printing guns. They could make something that LOOKS like a gun, but it won't work. It can't be done on the budget printers.
    To use the better materials and tolerances you need the $15,000 printers.
    They guys who are doing this are not using cheap printers.
     
  3. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    i beg to differ.

    i have a fair amount of experience with 3d printing.

    on a well tuned RepRap printer, we have been able to make functional tool holders for metal lathes.....if itll survive on a lathe, itll survive on a firearm.

    we have printed springs that are damn near unbreakable.....trust me, weve tried.

    when it comes to materials, they are most likely using ABS or PLA.....the industry 'standard'.....both of which are also used on hobby grade printers.

    as for tolerances, here are the specs for the RepRap:
    more than plenty accurate to print a lower.


    i have no doubt these guys are using top-end printers, a top-end printer will likely print faster, and more consistent......but there is no reason it cant be done on a $600 printer.
     
  4. Dean Weingarten

    Dean Weingarten Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    423
    Are printed springs for a 30 rd magazine, or a 20, feasible in your opinion? It sounds like it.
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,570
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Might not work for a receiver - but I'd be willing to absolutely bet it'd work for a magazine.

    During the last AWB when production of mags was illegal you could still buy hi-cap springs to service your existing mags, and the followers are the same between 10 rounder and hi-caps, but are typically also made of plastic and could be printed too.

    The fact that the hottest selling magazines for an AR15 are already polymer is just further proof that we've essentially hit a technological point where banning magazines will be pointless. Anybody who wants one for any non-lawful use could print one up quite easily.

    If you look at Anonymous, Wikileaks, and The Pirate Bay, you can already tell that the government as a whole is mostly throwing it hands up in frustration regarding the taming of the digital age. They simply can't restrict the flow of bytes and what computers can do.
     
  6. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    i dont see any reason why you physically couldnt print a 30 round spring....

    that being said, it wont likely be in a realistic form factor. the most successful printed spring ive seen have been 'serpentine springs' with a thickness of ~1/8 THK. they take up A LOT of space when compressed.

    so youll likely end up with a 30 round mag that will be the length of a 60 round mag.....and i cant imagine it being too terribly reliable.
     
  7. MartinS

    MartinS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    815
    We'll need new designs, printable designs. They'll look some weird. The boys and girls who cling to their blued steel and walnut beauties will have more heartburn to add to their Glockburn. Hope we can have them all.
     
  8. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,908
    Location:
    Virginia
    Most recent episode of CSI:NY they showed some giuy printing a revolver. Fully functional, moving parts and all, no assembly required. Part of me laughed at it, but the general public won't understand that current state of the art is not even withing rock throwing distance of that capability.
     
  9. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    195
    [​IMG]

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2976274/posts?page=41

    I can order an affordable 3D printer right now from Amazon and can be making mags immediately, the one shown here is a 5 round AR type. The code is open source, the mag works.

    Should not be too difficult to make one for the M1A. I would actually prefer 10 rounders to a larger mag.
     
  10. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    18,013
    Location:
    Illinois
    They need to fore-go the conventional buttstock.

    They need to build the lower with an integral buttstock in thumbhole configuration, capable of accepting the recoil tube as an insert instead of attaching the buttstock as a threaded attachment.

    At that point the weakest link is eliminated.
     
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,064
    Check out FormLabs Form 1 stereolithography printer. I've been touting them lately, since I think they are going to deliver a great product once it hits market, and they fit nicely between the Repraps and 15K$ industrial machines with a ~3K$ printer. Volume is 6x6x5" I think, and uses a liquid polymer solidified with a laser to build parts. Accuracy is around 10micron, I believe (I may be missing a decimal :eek:) and strength/finish is on par with injection molded acrylic plastic (material strength varies with polymer, of course). The goo is a little over 100$ for 1L, which is pricey compared to ABS, but not compared to machining the thing ;)

    Don't you bet on it. Aside from the need to reinforce a couple things (barrel, chamber tubes and firing pin) a low-grade revolver capable of firing a couple low-power shots is likely possible at present. Granted, it'd go out of time or wear out the sear in a couple shots, but it would be about as durable as the el cheapo Spanish/Belgian knockoffs of American revolvers at the turn of the century. But yeah, a guy simply printing a S&W 27 from CAD models off the internet would only accomplish the murder of his hands and eyes :D

    Printing assemblies is already being done:
    Gyro_large.gif
    From FormLabs website
    (PS, cool that we can link gifs here-didnt' know about that :))

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,539
    that is awesome, and I would guess that they will get better and better with time. Excited to see the progress.
     
  13. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    5,297
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    If they limit legal mags to 10 rounds, a 20 rounder the size of a 30 round mag wouldn't be a bad deal.

    And, as was noted up thread, if replacement springs and followers are still available for existing mags, being able to print a 30 round magazine body is all you need.
     
  14. dcarch

    dcarch Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,040
    Location:
    The Hawkeye State
    Wait a second... what about using the 3d printers to make magazines for firearms that are older/harder to find? Seems like it would be whole lot easier to "retool" a 3d printer than a machine shop.
     
  15. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,810
    Location:
    Northern California
    I like your 9mm idea better.
     
  16. TheGloriousTachikoma

    TheGloriousTachikoma Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    80
    @ dcarch, the problem is that with an AR-15 the stack is significantly narrower than the magwell. Aluminum and steel mags have ridges that keep things in alignment and polymer mags simply absorb the space. The issue with pistol mags is that the stack is as wide as the magwell. All you have is thin-gauge steel. I doubt printed polymer would be strong enough.

    But damn good idea.

    also, reading through the blog post on the 30-round magazine, I see a couple of problems:

    1: The feed lips need some fine tuning

    2: The printed body and follower do not have sufficient lubricity against each other to move freely. The inside of a polymer magazine is glass smooth and the followers are usually IM delrin plastic. We need either a self-lubricating printing fluid or these magazines will require some post-printing finishing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  17. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    195
    The 3D printer may make its mark in history as the machine that will manufacture the next generation Liberty pistol.
    A one or two shot derringer style, will actually and safely shoot low pressure rounds. Possibly with a novel approach of an integral suppressor. A completely disposable weapon that leaves no rifling marks and no consistent firing pin mark.

    That CSI episode I think was more about creating a negative image of making gun parts with a 3D printer, the giveaway is of course its in NYC.

    I would love to see a new TV series about modern day gunsmiths creating parts and alternative weapons with the 3D printer. Even a new style of caseless ammunition?
     
  18. sonick808

    sonick808 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    This is excellent news. Can i use a self-made reprap or does it have to be a makerbot
     
  19. Diamondback6

    Diamondback6 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    The cesspool of the Upper Left Coast
    Sonick, the guys at DefDist are specifically designing for RepRap and against MakerBot, as the MakerBot site has declared its hostility to guns and home 'smiths by deleting all gun-parts from their file-hosting site.
     
  20. sonick808

    sonick808 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    good grief! All this on top of the recent announcement that the new makerbot is going to be closed source!!! Seems to me they've completely done a 180 from EVERYTHING they stood for.

    how long until the government shoves their face into 3d printing ?
     
  21. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    18,013
    Location:
    Illinois
    It won't ever matter when or if they do.

    No one has ever been able to stop piracy of any digital goods, ever, period.
     
  22. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,064
    Cool, that makes my decision easier. I had been torn between the new Makerbot printer and the soon-to-release Formlabs SL printer. All these tech co's are probably gun-hostile, simply due to the backgrounds/demographics of the people involved (ivy-league egg-heads who've never been around guns), but if they aren't openly opposed to the legal use of their products where firearms are concerned, I say we should endorse them. I'll have to write them a letter before I confirm my preorder to see if they have a stance on this issue, or if they take a more libertarian mindset to how others use their printer.

    TCB
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    18,013
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hey now.

    I'm an "egg head", computer programmer, network admin, wide area communications work, database administration, high-availability server services. I'm actually a long hair hippy type wearing a tie died shirt at the moment. I like espresso, fine wine, filet mignon, fine art, classical music, and a good book in a warm tub. I study philosophy, and history, with an emphasis on "the condition of man" - what causes men to commit acts of evil, what causes empires to fall, what causes wars.

    I also collect and own over 75 evil assault weapons... and know how to use them very well. :D

    Can't judge a book by it's cover man!
     
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,473
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    My thought is that it would be best to print the mag body as two halves and either use mechanical fasteners or fuse the halves after smoothing the inside.

    Personally, I'll continue to do all my manufacturing on my lathe, mill, metal break, etc. Don't need a 3D printer to make a lower, and mine will not self destruct after 80 rounds, nor after 80,000. Neat as the 3D printing stuff is, the limitations of the material leave the products lacking in utility. Sometimes there's just no substitute for metalworking tools & skills.
     
  25. Sambo82

    Sambo82 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Ar
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page