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A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

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A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby fastback65 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:47 am

printedgun.jpg
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Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" (incidentally, "Have Blue" is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.


Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 receiver in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Early testing shows that it works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.

HaveBlue has also been testing the "marketplace" for 3-D printing weapons. To do this he asked Thingiverse, the 3-D design sharing site run by Makerbot Industries, whether it was permissible to post weapons designs or not. According to HaveBlue, Makerbot's senior leadership decided to not disallow, but to discourage, the posting of weapons designs. Haveblue then posted a design for an AR-15 part on Thingiverse, but in the intensive legal discussion that followed Haveblue's posting, Thingiverse decided to ban weapons designs outright. However, since Haveblue's design is still on the site, it's unclear whether Thingiverse is enforcing a ban or not.

While there are still some details to sort out, it's pretty clear that making weapons at home using 3-D printers from commonly available materials is going to become much more commonplace in the near future. In fact, as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-07/working-assault-rifle-made-3-d-printer
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby medicmike » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:18 pm

Don't know how I missed this one when you posted it.

We had a 3d printer when at HP in Corvallis for rapid prototyping. Was a pretty amazing piece of equipment. Been kicking around the idea of a reprap http://www.reprap.org/wiki/RepRap for the home shop. Not sure it would have the resolution to do an AR receiver though.

Pretty amazing what is done with printing these days. There is work being done on 3d bioprinting (actually printing organs using a 3d inkjet loaded with stem cells), ink jet solar cells printed direct on paper. Being in the 2d digital printing industry I get to hear snippets of some of the advancements on the horizon.
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby fastback65 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:03 pm

medicmike wrote: There is work being done on 3d bioprinting (actually printing organs using a 3d inkjet loaded with stem cells), ink jet solar cells printed direct on paper. Being in the 2d digital printing industry I get to hear snippets of some of the advancements on the horizon.



Absolutely incredible
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby medicmike » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:37 pm

I stumbled across a trade article on the printing of solar cells at MIT and emailed the article to an engineer friend of mine in Corvallis. He sent back a pretty detailed email on the type of printheads and some of the difficulties on moving the viscous fluid needed to print these and said "oh yeah, we are working on that"

This article is getting a bit outdated but this explains the bioprinting process http://www.explainingthefuture.com/bioprinting.html It is still a ways off (well assuming things hold together that long) but I understand that they are getting close to being able to print new skin for burn victims and that kidneys won't be far behind. Printed with the patient's own stem cells there is little risk of rejection.
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby medicmike » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:43 pm

And thinking of the solar cells. This is the kind of potential inkjet could have for production.

This is the press that I worked on when in Corvallis (this was my baby, I was lead R&D tech on this project and integrated the first 2 prototypes, the video is of the second prototype). Imagine a few of these printing solar cells, 600 fpm at 42" wide. Would be a game changer in the home power industry!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijW8wFPv8Fw
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby fastback65 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:57 am

Mike, what is the current application for a printer like that. 5400 letter sized sheets a minute. That is smoking. You are right, that would be a game changer for the solar industry. All we have to do is keep some politician from giving it to the Chinese.
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Re: A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

Postby medicmike » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:12 am

fastback65 wrote:Mike, what is the current application for a printer like that. 5400 letter sized sheets a minute. That is smoking. You are right, that would be a game changer for the solar industry. All we have to do is keep some politician from giving it to the Chinese.


They are used for short run magazines and books (they print a lot of textbooks on these), transactional forms (credit card and bank statements), junk mail, anything that is short run or needs to be personalized. They produce magazine quality product (the laser based Indigos that I work on now do photo quality). They are ink jet, just like your desktop printer so each page can be different (variable data) no individual plates required like in offset printing. The ink comes in 55 gallon drums and it isn't cheap. They move data so fast that they couldn't push it through wires so everything is sent to the press through fiber optic lines.

Still not to the speed of the big offset presses (some of those run thousands of feet per min). This technology is really changing the printing industry. Digital printing has allowed the print on demand industry to develop. Order a book and it is printed and shipped directly to you rather than a run of 10,000 or so needed to pay for plates and setup in offset.
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