Ive really looked into getting a 3D printer to make gun parts. Anyone else?
@Medic13 I don’t think I’m ready for that. We do 3D printed parts for prototypes of the medical device we’re developing at work, but they aren’t exactly interchangeable with the final moulded or cast or milled parts. We can’t use them for final testing. There was some discussion of it here though: 3D printed guns - yes really!
If in 3D Printing you mean “Plastic” I would question whether or not those parts would hold up. Those who know have even said that the Plastic Guns made entirely with 3D Plastic only hold up for a short while due to the stress of the ‘explosion’ within the chamber. I would prefer to get my parts from the manufacturer and trust the REAL THING,
There are a few 3D printers out there for home use (my son is setting one up for testing) that are capable of printing metal. I don’t know the price or what the metal is but it looks similar to the plastic rolls for 3D printing. If you want me to find out more for you, ask away and I’ll ask him when I see him (we work different shifts and don’t see each other every day).
Yes, do ask would love to know more
@Medic13 how are you, hopefully you’re safe and well. I believe that 3D printing is another tool that is needed in any workshop. When it comes to firearms, 3D printing offers many advantages. I bought a Creality Ender 3, $180.00. I will tell you that this printer has paid itself off many times over. The return on investment is almost instant. The first parts I printed were the upgrades for the printer itself. Then I started printing parts for presses, a power dipper holder that holds the Lee set of dippers, small parts for my workshop, organizers, peg board adapters for firearms, dies, and all kinds of other tools. Also, a printed snap-caps for my firearms and mounting brackets for my presses.
Well I think you get the idea. That’s not including what my wife, 8 year old daughter and 15 year old son have printed out. I have also printed the Liberator, magazines, and other firearm parts.
Assuming you mean a household plastic printer, depends on the parts and how much you want to spend and how good you are at CAD. Printing’s the easy part. Designing parts is the hard part.
Depends on the parts you want to make too. grip spacers for a full size mag in a compact are easy. pic rail adapters a little harder. (put one on my rhino to go from the bottom pic rail to mount a red dot on top. Did fine till I pulled out a box of hot .357s). grips need to be precise, fire control components, moving parts, and parts under load take special care.
I also printed a stock for my 1022, almost impractically light. you can print a 10/22 receiver but as with any loaded/moving parts it takes some care in planning.
Dummy rounds are so-so. hard plastics don’t work for snap caps because the firing pin blows through them.
My house is littered with accessories, boxes, holders, and knick knacks my wife and I have 3d-printed. Tray to sort reloading shell holders, racks for dies, guides for the presses, various bore sighters in one box, improved primer flipper/sorter/picker upper, Most of the operating mechanism for an automated annealing machine.
Maybe we need a 3D printing category
I would imagine anything plastic (PLA, PLA+, ABS) would not hold up to high heat like you would need in a barrel or breach/bolt face. But I don’t see why you couldn’t print a lower or a stock or other low-heat parts. There are several posts on Reddit about the “Menendez” mag which is a 3D printed Glock magazine. Supposedly, they hold up pretty well, but you will need metal springs.
I’m currently trying to CAD a glock magazine holder so they dont just lay around in a box all haphazardly.
@Russell27, there are so many open source models out there I don’t even use CAD. It is very easy to download the .STL file, in my case, open it in a slicer like Cura, then save it to a USB memory stick. Place it in the printer and print it. As far as the slicer is concerned, it is super simple. Open the file and click on the large button that says slice. After that it gives you the option to save to removable media.
There are parts for all the major reloading presses, magazines, sights, mounts and so much more. Now PLA is a filament material that is very basic. I use ApolloX to print ultra durable parts. I have used it to print parts for my car, parts that are on the engine. So, using a printer that sets you back around $150.00 is well worth the price.