The frame, grips and magazine shell can be made of plastic. I few other low-stress parts could be as well. However, the parts of the gun that make it a firearm can't be made of plastic. At least not the plastics we have today. We're not talking about metal inserts, either. The chamber, barrel, hammer and firing pin, plus various pins and springs must be made of metal.
Real weapons manufacturers might consider 3D printing for initial prototyping, but I doubt they would concider them for manufacturing. It's far cheaper and faster to cast plastic parts than print them.
Alright, so you don't think that it's note worthy. That's your opinion and I don't see anything in the article that supports your assumption as there are references to other articles on the subject. The article is a good overview discussion of the legality of use of 3D printing to manufacture a gun - it points out accurately the legal issue of producing a gun without metal.
I think that your opinion is clouded by your ideology and that inhibits your ability to engage in a discussion as there is nothing in the article that demonizes 3D printing nor even guns - saying that guns are deadly or that a catastrophic event could kill is merely stating fact. That you see demonization implies that you are more concerned with projecting your will than anything else.
Yes, culture underpins freedom, and government is the product of culture. The bottom line here is this... I have no opposition to debate if the original premise is legit. However, in this case, the article begins with the completely false assumption that the 3D printing of a weapon is a noteworthy development. I would easily argue that in fact it is not. People have developed hundreds if not thousands of methods to hurt [or terminate] each other since time began. It's a product of the culture. As such, the only common denominator to all those methods is the human being. So, in summary, I will not accept even a suggestion or hint that the wrong item be termed causal and then summarily demonized, limited, restricted, or regulated on the false premise that it'll somehow make us all "safer". THAT, my friend, would be an unintended consequence of a paranoid and squeamish culture. And, for the record, there wasn't any "belly-ache" in my previous post. Nothing but love and enthusiasm, buddy. Have a nice day.
I don't feel sorry for you but those you know. You didn't comprehend my post so of course you don't get it. What was that diatribe about? First you don't want to talk about the implications of the 3D printing of guns and then you spill your guts about what you believe, which is nothing but singing the praises of your "freedom" (whatever that means) loving, and more important, tough self. Wow! You're not afraid! Thanks for letting us know.
The fact is that guns don't guarantee "freedom" (whatever that means), culture does. This article is not a wate of time as it forces a discussion of things that are a consequence of engineering and are thus part of engineering. Of course you could "debate", but you haven't. All you've done is belly ache about you.
I'm not sure selling a weapon you make is a problem. Unless the weapon leaves the state you live in. There are more than one groups of people who have thought of manufacturing weapons in Texas. There are some thinking of making 100 watt incandescent light bulbs. There is no problem till the articles cross the start line and come under Federal jurisdiction.
My thought was to use the printer to make prototypes for casting molds
I think this article is a bit hysterical.
"Move along. Move along. There is nothing here to see. Move along.
Wow... now someone feels sorry for me and my peers... I don't get it, but OK. The assumption that we "right-wing" types don't engage in broader discussion is just as inane as the assumption that the original article is worth the space it occupied on the cloud. Y'see... my friends and I are not about to lose one breath of sleep over the things that make the spineless jellyfish among the unarmed or otherwise defenseless populace squirm. Quite the opposite. As thinking men and women, as educated men and women, and as realistic men and women we routinely revel in the freedoms we claim as Americans and laud the creative application of all kinds of technology to the enjoyment and benefit of all. This is what engineering and design is all about. And, as the needle deflects from professional-level creativity to trade-level hands-on application, it is pure rubbish to ask that fine folks within our government protect us from ourselves. Quite honestly we are more than capable of doing so without much assistance, especially if we are not stripped of the freedom that allows us to do so. Attitude? Yes, absolutely. I am proud to be an American, proud to be as self-sufficient as I can be, and proud to live with little or no fear. How can one possibly live in this great land of ours without some "attitude"? But it's a good and wholesome attitude. I refuse to become part of the hysterical set that demands that EVERYONE stripped down to a cell phone and a home alarm system as self-defense mechanisms. Too slow, too ineffective, and too late. And, quite frankly... the attitude embodied in the original article is far more bothersome to freedom-loving Americans than ANY of its opposition so well-expressed by those who took the time to express their valuable counter-arguments. Enjoy?? indeed. Bring it. I LOVE a good debate.
Thanks for the article, it's a fun diversion to read the comments on these "red meat" subjects.
I would be interested in seeing the cost comparison between additive methods vs. other manufacture methods for the firearms industry. It would also be interesting to see how close state of the art 3D printing is to being a viable part of the industry and how close it is to being able to produce the stressed parts. Metal deposition is already being used in aerospace structural elements for fighter jets; but that customer base has deep pockets.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.