3D Printing Guns
Crossposting from Sociocide.
It's being done:
Cody R. Wilson, self-described crypto-anarchist, is trying to put an end to the stranglehold on gun manufacturing by developing ways to 3D print and distribute those 3D plans for guns.
When the ATF was asked about it, they stated that there is currently no law against a private citizen manufacturing firearms for their own use.
I'm not sure if I want to pat the guy on the back and buy him a pint or be very afraid.
Either way, that's damn fucking impressive.
Now if he only had one of these he could "print" it in Metal
of course you can always buy a bench top mill for pretty cheap
They are almost as easy to use as the 3d printers and you can cut aluminum to make a decent lower
I can appreciate the spirit of what these guys are trying to do, but ultimately it's a plastic receiver. Boo. Even Glock receivers aren't made completely out of polymer and Gaston Glock was a fucking plastics master long before he started building guns.
I'm with goodlun. If you want to make some ****, the technology to do so has been around for over a hundred years. You can buy a used mill very cheap these days and they're pretty easy to learn how to use. Tooling can be fairly expensive and yes, an AR-15 receiver requires a bunch of machining operations. But the technology is out there, especially with a CNC mill and there are already people sharing the coding for AR receivers.
In my opinion the gun printing thing can't live up to the hype.
It will be more interesting once these 3d printers start working with better polymers than ABS plastic. There are polymers that are perfectly fine for an AR15 lower. especially if you add more material around the buffer tube ring.
Sure, but I'm guessing the printers aren't capable of doing that at this point. Otherwise they'd be doing it. Plus, as far as I know it's not that easy to run down to your local hardware store and come home with a firearms grade plastic. Most of those are proprietary, I would imagine.
Originally Posted by goodlun
And if my memory serves me from the last thread about this, we were talking about a$10,000 printer. Yes, ten. Thousand. Much more expensive than setting up a mill to do the same work in aluminum.
You can get an ABS 3D plastic printer for ~$2000. They do have many uses in rapid prototyping.
Originally Posted by Devil
I am sure at some point down the line we will have a decent polymer printer that is capable of some seriously awesome stuff. For now though normal machining seems to be the best option. You can get a benchtop mill that is pretty good for most low tolerance (good enough for AR receivers) work.
Really though when it comes to additive manufacturing I am waiting for the prices on the Electron Beam Melting machines to come down. We priced one out at $1,000,000 which is a little steep for my pockets. However the ability to 3d print titanium, beryllium and other such hard to machine metals makes for a very attractive package. If the table size was a bit bigger, surface finishes were a bit better and if I had a few more aerospace contacts and the military budget wasn't being cut I would have figured out how to pick one up.
Laser sintering is also an option and you can pick up a machine in the $250k-500k range but the parts really are not fully formed metal like on an EBM machine.
In contrast I can pick up a new HAAS VF-1 Between 50k-80k (depending on options) the VF1 is a decent enough machine gives you a 20" x 16" x 20" work area and be making lowers all damn day.
If the drug cartels are willing to hire PHD chemist to set up and run Meth Super labs why the hell haven't they just bought a few mills and started banging out their own supply of M16s?
Barrels are the hard part. Still, the druglords should have no problem forking over $5 million or so for the proper equipment. That's chump change for them.
Originally Posted by goodlun
On the other hand, they've probably just found it more cost effective to buy their weaponry from the ATF.