Solid Concpets, a Texas based 3D printing services company, has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and legitimacy. Based on over 30 printed components, its 3D printed gun has fired 50 rounds in tests.
The gun, a 1911 classic design, is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip. T
“We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts. “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.”
The metal laser sintering process Solid Concepts used to manufacture the 30+ gun components is claimed, by the company, to be one of the most accurate additive manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the interchangeable and interfacing parts within the 1911 series gun.
The 3D Printed gun barrel sees chamber pressures above 20,000 psi every time it is fired. Solid Concepts chose to build the 1911 because the design is public domain.
“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.”
The 3D Printed metal gun proves that 3D Printing isn’t just making trinkets and Yoda heads. The Solid Concepts gunk is meant to debunk the idea that 3D Printing isn’t a viable solution or isn’t ready for mainstream manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Defense Distributed had tried to open source plans for 3D printing your own firearm, but the government stepped in and asked them to remove the plans from the Internet.
This is getting to be the real shiznit.