Solid Concepts, an established 3D printing service provider, recently announced that it has created the world’s first direct metal laser sintered (DMLS) gun.
According to Solid Concepts the gun, modeled after a M1911 semi-automatic pistol, has already fired 50 rounds of ammo without a hitch. Made primarily with 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625, the gun also features carbon-fiber filled, nylon hand grips.
Now before you think “Well, there goes the neighborhood”, Kent Firestone, VP of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts, wants to separate his company’s ambitions from previous 3D printing gun projects. “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing and we’re doing this legally”. Firestone continued, “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.”
Project engineers at Solid Concepts want to show people the reliability and accuracy in DMLS manufacturing. “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.”
While Solid Concepts hasn’t released the final cost of their 3D printed M1911, it is a safe bet that it is significantly higher than one found in a gun store. Still, as a proof of concept the gun is an impressive and functional artifact; as well as yet another strong reminder that 3D printing is here to stay.
Image and Videos Courtesy of Solid Concepts