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Feeling on 3d printable rifles and mags?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ryno31, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    Hm... Now I'm tempted to cancel my back-order for those Pmags.
     
  2. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    In the end it won't matter what you or I or the POTUS think about 3D printing. I think it will turn out like MP3s and music. They tried to control and legislate it and they failed. Once the genie is out of the bottle there's no putting it back. 3D printers are only going to get better and more affordable as time goes on and making actual functional and practical guns will become easier and easier.
     
  3. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    I don't think you'll be able to print guns much longer. Anyone who has ever tried, just for fun, to copy a dollar bill on a high quality color photocopier can tell you why...
     
  4. goon

    goon Member

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    Given the time, inclination, tools, and a few raw materials, you could also make a gun.
    Original guns were handmade by men with metal working and wood carving skills, but a modern machinist could probably design one and have a prototype in a weekend.
    Now that the gun has been invented, it cannot be uninvented.
     
  5. Warp

    Warp Member

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    A slippery slope?

    You can call it whatever you want, but in my opinion free people being able to arm themselves is about as good as it gets.

    Even if criminals can do so too, guess what...the gun control laws many are trying to pass, or pass, right now, would make a ton of us criminals.
     
  6. hq

    hq Member

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    Bills can be easily recognized by software algorithm, whereas determining that a printable 3D file is a firearm part or not is much more difficult. Firmware hacking is commonplace, too, and I can't see how that would change in foreseeable future, especially when we're talking about printers that can easily be controlled by software running on a regular computer.

    Current, high-strength 3D printing medias can already match the strength of injection molded plastic (read: polymer gun frame, without metal inserts) and it's only a matter of time before titanium powder printers challenge current multi axis NC lathes.
     
  7. sean326

    sean326 Member

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    There is a utube of a guy shooting a full mag through a printed lower.
    This technology is in its infancy remember what your first microwave oven looked like? Your first cell phone? My son is a physicist he says they already have resins that they spray on the polymers that penetrate, seals and hardens to near steel strength. Also annother one that they bake and cure to steel strength. the days of regulating "things" that anyone will be able to make at home are coming to an end. You think Walmart changed the landscape for merchandise and retail sales just wait a few years till everyone has a box in their home and can download a program for product for a few $ insert a block of raw material for a few $ and print any product you want.
     
  8. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    I think this technology is pretty slick. Look out Magpul, here comes the competition!

    For those who speak of "criminals," what is a criminal? One who does not abide the law, right? There are examples of many really unpopular laws which many people disregard every day who would not think of themselves as criminals. Tax evasion? 922r? Pirated movies/music?

    So talking about "criminals" as though these are people different from most of us is somewhat facetious I think. Sorta like labeling a kid with a hoodie as a "gangbanger."

    A "drug dealer" is simply someone who has decided to feed a large market of otherwise legitimate people, who are criminalized due to exercising their inherent freedom of choice. Should some of the pending legislation pass, many of us will be criminals for exercising our inherent right to self defense through keeping the means of our defense at hand.

    Oh well.
     
  9. VVelox

    VVelox Member

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    A 3D printer is also a lot easier to make than a copier, so the entire firmware thing is a moot point.
     
  10. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    And I can still make a better lower with a $400 hobby milling machine and a sub-$50 billet of aluminum. It just takes more time and some skill.
     
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Well, there's two 0% forgings in all of Gunbroker (searched for 0% and forging); one AR15 (30$) and one AR10(100$). Bids on 80% receivers are between 100$ and 500$. Methinks that way is shut (for now).

    I am mighty tempted by the prospect of quickly/easily making a butt-load of 80% plastic lowers (I don't think you need FFL for that), and selling them for 50$ or less. Even being up front about strength and the need for reinforcement, I'll bet there would be plenty of takers right now. Who wouldn't take a gamble on a 30$ lower that might actually work well, and is made from cutting-edge tech?

    Oh, here's an email I'm sending to Formlabs, the guys making the SLA printer I'm interested in. I figure if I'm going to go out on a limb preordering from a new business, I should know where they stand on this issue:

    Hopefully I'll hear back from them at some point and relay their opinion for all to consider :). Lemme know if you think I should ask anything else!

    TCB
     
  12. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    If you have the dimensions and the know-how, you don't need an 80% or 0% forging to make a lower, just a block of aluminum. With the know-how, nothing is "shut" now or ever.
     
  13. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    *off topic* I thought the forging was needed to get necessary strength:confused:. You're right, it's not much harder to fab with raw stock than a 0%, I just figured they needed to start out that way :eek:

    Which is why they keep trying to make us stoopid(er) :D

    TCB
     
  14. Njal Thorgeirsson

    Njal Thorgeirsson Member

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    I don't really think 3d printing will ever really take off to the level that some people think it will. The fact is that 3d printers are not only expensive (I realize that they will get cheaper), but I don't really think there will ever be that much demand for them outside of niche markets. Some people will buy them just because they're really cool- but they really won't be all that useful to an average family. Also, it is legal in most areas to print a receiver for personal use. Anyways, I don't really think its a threat to gun rights and all that- I don't think it'll ever really take off enough to be a serious issue.

    But I'd definitely be interested in inexpensive 80% printed lowers.
     
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    The law states you can make a firearm for personal use, so the whole printed receiver thing is a good thing for long term existing designs. However, it could have a very negative impact on designers, who with the slip of a key, lose all their work to be copycat produced in 10,000 computer rooms.
    I am 100% behind the printed magazine idea, and would really like to see what could be done with a really modern "printer" and good materials. The printer used for the white mag/lower was apparently made in the 1990s...
     
  16. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Normally, I'd agree about the need for strong protections of patented innovations, but the firearms industry is kind of a special case; development in this field has been driven (in large part) by the circumvention of patents as well as outright infringement ;). One guy builds a gun, next guy copies it, attains parity, thus requiring the first guy to make a better design (if he is to remain tactically superior in equipment). So long as the first guy is superior, he need not improve his weapon. Evolution at work, survival of the fittest, and unlike most industries where competition can stifle the desire for people to take part, there is always a necessity for firepower.

    "What gunpowder did for war, the printing press has done for the mind"

    TCB
     
  17. hq

    hq Member

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    "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 ;)

    If we think about useful (or even just decorative, you know women) 3D objects that you can just print when you need them, instead of buying one, I'd predict this technology is going to be massive. It'll take a while but sooner or later 3D printing is very likely to become mainstream, much like paper printing at home and copy shops already is.

    I have to admit that my guess is no better than yours so we'll just have to wait and see.
     
  18. Browning

    Browning Member

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  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    It already has in a sense. In essense, CNC milling equipment (used by most every firearms manufacturer) is an inverse form of 3D printing - it just works by a subtractive method, rather than an additive one.

    Right now, though, 3D printing is much more useful for rapid prototyping than it is for mass-production.
     
  20. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Btw, they already have a 3D printing method that uses titanium and titanium alloys. The electron Beam Melting can make very strong stuff. From wikipedia:

    I don't know how expensive these types of machines would be.

    I am thinking about starting a business and using 3D printers to make the product. A problem is that it is fairly expensive to make the stuff at the moment. Has to be a high margin item. Have a few ideas, but my day job is getting in the way of pursuing. *mutters something about work getting in the way of everything*
     
  21. pintler

    pintler Member

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    "I thought the forging was needed to get necessary strength"

    Not a mechanical engineer, just a hobby machinist, but I'm going to go with 'I don't think so'; forging doesn't make metal stronger, but it can help by affecting grain direction. A chunk of metal is made up of little crystals, called grains (there are exotic exceptions, like jet turbine blades, that are grown as single crystals). As cast those grains are 'equiaxial', i.e. not on the average larger in one axis or another. When you work metal - rolling or forging - the grains get squished out to be little flat pancakes (it you're rolling plate) or elongated (if you're rolling rod). With a forging, you can arrange the forging process so those elongated grains bend around angles, and that can be stronger than just machining from a chunk where the grain lines don't bend.

    Just guessing again, the only place on an AR lower where that would matter would be where the rear sweeps up to hold the buffer tube. My hunch is that a billet machined AR would still be strong enough there, but it you had any doubts you could just leave that part of the receiver oversized.

    I machined a billet 1911 frame. I haven't put a lot of rounds through it - probably no more than a few hundred - but it shows no sign of problems.

    n.b. that aluminum *alloys* do vary quite a bit in strength, so if you're casting your own blanks you might want to pay attention to that.
     
  22. Dr.Zubrato

    Dr.Zubrato Member

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    I'm all for guns in the hands of free men and women, but this is kind of counter productive. Who would need a one or two time weapon for defense, or trust their lives to it? Someone would have to be a little goofy to buy a 1,500$ minimum printer and print a cheap-o plastic molding and expect to defend themselves and their family..
    Seems like the real benefit is to criminals and those who are held back by existing legislation, who are deemed to be violent, mentally ill, or otherwise could have a one or two time use weapon for use in murders or spree killings.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to print up lowers and magazines and anyone who could buy one otherwise should be able to. I just see scenarios where drug money buys these printers and creates en masse "hot" weapons used in crimes like robberies and carjackings.
     
  23. klyph

    klyph Member

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    The 2nd amendment doesn't specify "free men and women" it says "the people"
    Someone without the financial resources to afford the same quality of personal protection that you can.
    I haven't ever bought a paper printer, but that doesn't stop me from making prints. I got to Kinko's or borrow a friends printer, and they never even charge me for the paper and ink.
    Projection. If you want to evaluate what group benefits most, it seems to me that would be the group of people that manufacture personal use firearms. A group that currently represents a minuscule percentage of violent criminals. Most are hobbyists, gunsmiths and enthusiasts
    Do we have drug gangs buying drill presses and bulk manufacturing zip guns? Do the cartels have CNC mills to make guns? I don't see where your concerns are founded anywhere in reality.
     
  24. Dr.Zubrato

    Dr.Zubrato Member

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    @ klyph
    If I'm to understand, what you're saying is there should be no laws regarding felons, rapists, and murderers from possessing firearms? That's a bit of an extreme position, and I think most would disagree with you. Not all laws are bad..

    I hope you know even the cheapest pistol on the market would be more reliable and a better self defense tool, rather than buying a printer, and printing a polymer lower, then buying all the parts individually.

    If you were to simply receive a lower receiver, free of charge, could you honestly say you could build a cheaper AR15 than buying a NIB or used glock at the gun store?

    It's an excellent hobbyist tool, and a great leap in technology. With great leaps in technology, come the possibilities for both good and evil. I think you're turning a blind eye to the fact this is something has great potential for evil, in favor of what it means to hobbyists.

    Did I say ban the damn things? No.
    Did I say new regulations must be put in place? No.

    What I wanted to say was, this doesn't require NEARLY the programming skills or resources to use a CNC machine. This 3D printer is cheap and portable enough to be used by anyone with rudimentary knowledge of CAD software, so the comparison is not analogous.

    Sorry for sticking a finger in your pie, but every coin has two sides.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    This goes back to a couple of fundamental points it is important to understand and internalize:

    1) If they're dangerous, why are they out in public? Gun or no gun, a person prone to violence is a danger to all. If they are rehabilitated enough to live next to me and my family, then there is no reason they should not be armed.

    2) If they ARE free and ARE dangerous, then a law prohibiting them from lawfully owning guns is worth nothing at all. If they'll violate morals, social norms, and THE LAW to assault and/or kill a fellow person, violating a low-level felony like unlawful possession of a firearm, theft, straw purchases, and the like are not even a blip on their radar.

    So, if you understand WHY gun control is backward and doesn't work EVER, AT ALL, you'll understand what klyph meant.
     
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