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Old September 4, 2018, 09:34 AM   #1
Roamin_Wade
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3D Printer "Controversy"

What's all of this talk I keep hearing about these 3D printers and full-auto guns that they could possibly make and the case of whether or not this fellow can release the program that can be used to make aforementioned firearms? Why didn't he just release it instead of asking permission? That works way better than asking first and besides, we are at the least a Free people in the U.S., this is a no brainer. Any lawyerly types in here that can argue against the release of this program?
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Old September 4, 2018, 10:18 AM   #2
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Why didn't he just release it instead of asking permission?
He did.
And then he was sued.
And then he 'won'.
And then he released other plans.
And then he was stopped again.
And then ....
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Old September 4, 2018, 10:40 AM   #3
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I dig your handle there FrankenMauser. If the plans are out there, they'll be in the public domain from now on. Plus, anyone who learns to program, and they can read micrometers, they then will also be able to make the program. I want to know how much the stuff costs that makes these parts and what it is material wise.
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Old September 4, 2018, 12:20 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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This is all just gun grabber strategy.
What criminal is going to 3D or 80% a gun when he can just steal one or buy it from his full service dope pusher?
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Old September 4, 2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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In my experience, 3D printed products are not terribly durable. If they are large structures they are usually honey-combed inside, rather than solid.

Keep in mind 3D printers were built with rapid-prototyping in mind. The materials fused by a laser are not super tough, but it is easier to print a prototype to see if it meets the design goals for function (durability aside), and if so, then have the item manufactured from a material/process that provides durability along with function... forged, milled, cast, etc.

We have a number of 3D printers at work (R&D Lab) and I would pass on firing a magazine of ammo thru any gun they could produce.
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Old September 4, 2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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Indeed, 9x19. I have an FDM machine. The parts, while seemingly "strong" for most decorative or light-use applications, are absolutely terrible when given a real workout.

There isn't enough money in this world to convince me to fire the type of FDM-printed 'gun' that the gun-grabbers think we're all mass-producing in our basements.

In addition, I had a lot of parts 'printed' in metal for a few years -- more specifically, mostly SLS printed parts that were then 'infiltrated' with another metal during a casting process (bronze, I believe? -- Shapeways was the source).

They're strong. Very strong. ...But not strong enough that I'd ever trust my life to one.
And, most importantly, the handling required between sintering and infiltration, combined with the casting process, means a lot of shrinkage and unpredictable warpage.
You can 'print' 500 of the same part, and every single one of them will be different; with about 30% of them failing to meet specs, if you're shooting for a tolerance better than +/- 10%.


Roamin_Wade, materials range from PLA (a corn-based plastic), to nylon, to ABS, to flexible polymers. Cost varies greatly.
The Defense Distributed 'Liberator' might cost less than $2 to print with cheap PLA. Or, it might cost $20+ in some higher end polymers.
The above is based on FDM printers, however. (Fused Deposition Manufacturing) If you turn to SLS, SLA, or any of the other laser-based systems, cost goes up exponentially (for materials and the machine), and the parts are generally extremely brittle unless put through special processes and heat-treating.
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Last edited by FrankenMauser; September 5, 2018 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Corrected an error.
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Old September 4, 2018, 09:30 PM   #7
Nathan
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Could the printed parts be turned into investment castings pretty easy?
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Old September 5, 2018, 11:07 AM   #8
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Yes, it can be done.
But, "easily" seems to be a matter of perspective and experience.

I've seen a lot of people attempt lost-PLA (or lost-ABS) casting, only to give up before achieving the desired result.
At the same time, I have seen some people successful with the process. But every one of them had previous casting experience.

Ironically, at least from what I've seen, nearly all people with casting experience give up on lost-PLA casting and redesign their parts to work with split molds and green sand. (Or just give up on the lost-PLA and return to green sand for future parts.)

My personal opinion is that if you're going to be casting the parts, you might as well just design for green sand. Less headache. Less mess. Less time. And you can make your patterns from wood, plaster, bondo, or even old bread.
Parts cast in a backyard or garage will nearly always have to be machined, no matter the process used. So why waste time with 3D printing and the additional time and steps required for lost-PLA?
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Old September 6, 2018, 08:06 AM   #9
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The bottom line

Here's my thoughts on the 3D printed gun "controversy"

Much adieu over nothing.
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Old September 6, 2018, 08:55 AM   #10
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The files are out there if you want them...on many site reflectors.
Just google it.
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Old September 8, 2018, 08:23 AM   #11
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Stupid people don't know the difference between making parts and making complete firearms.
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Old September 8, 2018, 09:45 AM   #12
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I’ll repeat it again: $50 US can get you a hand made semi-auto 1911 functioning knockoff in one of the military bazaars I visited in Pakistan in less than a day. All made with hand tools.
And the reason someone in NYC / LA / Chicago that knows which side of a file and drill bit to use couldn’t make similar is....?
For most gun owners 3D printed guns will be a novelty for some time, and a political poster child forever.
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Old September 9, 2018, 12:02 AM   #13
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That’s true TXAZ. Anybody that can run a little Bridgeport mill can take a real piece of forged aluminum and mill an actual lower by just reverse engineering an existing gun. The 3-D printers is not for making durable parts that can handle the operations of such a machine as an AR.
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Old September 9, 2018, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roamin_Wade View Post
That’s true TXAZ. Anybody that can run a little Bridgeport mill can take a real piece of forged aluminum and mill an actual lower by just reverse engineering an existing gun. The 3-D printers is not for making durable parts that can handle the operations of such a machine as an AR.
“A Bridgeport Mill”?
Hah this guy had a file, hand drill, metal hand / hack saw and raw metal stock, and 1 lightbulb. He couldn’t afford the electric bill on the Bridgeport, much less the mill.

My point is making an effective firearm doesn’t require a mill or printer, just tools that can’t be outlawed. Some of the anti’s need to seriously cut back on their drug consumption and wake up to root causes of violence, which has little to do with guns.
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Old Yesterday, 05:05 PM   #15
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I have followed the entire 3D firearm hysteria the moment it unfolded in the media and could not help but say: What an UTTER load of UTTER bullcrap. It is an example of the classic use of a straw man to get people to wail against a non-existent enemy. Trying to find empty solutions for non-existent problems to get the media-gobbling publics' minds away from more important issues.

The most advanced piece of gun related kit that I have seen a 3D printer produce was a HORRENDOUSLY large and HORRENDOUSLY unsightly chunk of plastic that fired a single .22LR cartridge which has to be manually loaded and extracted. The thing is the size of one of the early digital camcorders and is prone to melting or cracking even after one shot. After all, it is made from plastic.

There was a line in H. Beam Piper's classic sci-fi short story "The Answer", where a scientist was concerned that antimatter might be used to create a bomb: "Trying to build a nega-matter bomb is like digging a deep hole to find a rock to beat someone to death with, when the shovel you are using is perfectly capable for the task". It was used to illustrate just how difficult it is to produce and safely store positronic atoms. That quote can be used to describe 3D guns very accurately. For all the price and the necessary tools to create a single shot, low powered clunker that may or may not even survive it's first use, someone who really needed a gun for whatever reason, especially a criminal reason, would find it far more in his advantage to obtain an illegal, and far more deadly semi-auto from a drug dealer or gang member.

Personally, I find it is more likely that robotic intelligence would become self-aware and threaten the existence of the human population before 3D technology can be perfected to create a weapon as rugged, lethal and reliable as a M1911 or a Glock. Classic use by media of a straw man to distract the public and make the average Joe or Jane view the gun community as sneaky, devious and always attempting to skirt the law. There are things in the world that are far more lethal than firearms. With a simple hatchet and a whittling knife, I can obtain a single tree limb and within a few hours, craft a weapon that can kill an antelope up to 100 yards away. It is called an English/Welsh longbow and was once called the "scourge of knighthood". Perhaps they should cut down every tree and homeowners who wish to grow trees must keep them secured in glass cages, after filling out a 4473 and paying a suppressor tax stamp too, since the longbow is practically silent when it fires.
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