A Hundred Years Old Gun Design Manufactured by 3D Printing

Interesting Engineering

Not so long ago we reported about the intention of Lockheed Martin to incorporate 3D printing into their production lines. Now we are witnessing another breakthrough in the 3D printing technology, this time with the smell of a gunpowder. Solid Concepts, a company from Texas, USA, successfully created via additive manufacturing a pistol that was designed in a century ago by John Browning – M1911.

3D-Printed-Metal-Gun-Low-Res-Press-Photo-1024x638[Image Source: Solid Concepts]

Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts, said: “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing. And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

3D-Printed-Metal-Gun-Components-Disassembled-Low-Res[Image Source: Solid Concepts]

More than 30 gun components were made by using laser sintering process. The company states that 3D printed parts are less porous than cast metal parts. It is noted that the gun fired successfully.
“The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy and usability of metal 3D Printing as functional prototypes and end use products,” says Firestone. “It’s a common misconception that 3D Printing isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.”

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