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World's first 3D printed metal gun blows through 50 rounds

Lucas Mearian | Nov. 11, 2013
The 45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol was fired at a target more than 30 yards away; several rounds hit the bull

According to the company, 3D metal printing means fewer porosity issues than are seen with the traditional method of casting metal parts.

Solid Concept said its gun's barrel experiences chamber pressure above 20,000 psi every time the gun is fired. By comparison, a factory-made M1911 pistol is rated for 17,000 psi chamber pressure.

"We're proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Printing," Firestone said. "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."

As its name suggests, the Colt M1911 pistol became the military's sidearm in 1911, after legendary gun designer John Browning developed it more than a decade earlier. Since that time, many manufacturers have copied the design.

Solid Concepts demonstrates its ability to 3D print an M1911 .45 caliber pistol.

The barrel of any modern gun contains rifling -- helical grooves that put a spin on a bullet as it is fired. The cork-screw movement of a bullet increases its accuracy.

Solid Concept's pistol's rifling was built directly into the barrel using 3D printing. The gun was in no way machined, as guns are traditionally made.

"We did not machine this gun," the company stated. "It's born this way."


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