Earlier this year we saw the first successful test firing of a 3D printed handgun and a 3D printed rifle, both of which were made from plastic components and a metal firing pin (not as scary as it sounds). Now Solid Concepts in Texas has made the first metal 3D printed gun. It’s not something an inexpensive desktop printer could make, but it’s a neat proof of concept to advertise their high-end printing services. (Well, it worked. We’re talking about them.)
The automatic pistol they printed is a Model 1911 45ACP, the public domain, century-old design by John Browning. All of it (except the springs) was made with Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Even the rifling was done by the 3D printer. Assembling the thirty-three components of the 3D printed gun took about seven minutes and the use of some hand tools, but the gun was never machined.
According to the company, the over 30 components were made using a laser sintering process in which powdered metals are melted by a laser in layers using a digital plan. In this, a layer of powder is fused, then the printing machine lays down another layer and the process continues. Once complete, the excess powder is removed as are any supporting structures and the component is filed and cold hardened. [Gizmag]
Check out the video below to see Eric Mutchler successfully firing 50 rounds with decent accuracy. Or just look at Dita Von Teese’s 3D printed dress and think back on a simpler time. We’ve come a long way since John Browning was demonstrating the Model 1911’s design with cardboard cutouts. I mean, the chances of us UPROXX writers going mad from syphilis is at least 9% lower now.