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Author Topic: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...  (Read 484 times)

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Offline ND Martin

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Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« on: January 14, 2013, 09:13:40 PM »
3D printer technology is rapidly approaching the point where the government will not be able to keep up.  It's the tip of a very big iceberg, especially when one considers the potential of nanotechnology in coming years.  For now, here's a fascinating look at the 3d printing of accessories for weapons.

And yes, the author of the piece suffers the usual confusion about magazines vs. clips.


Offline Ken

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 12:34:02 AM »
True, but I think CNC machine tools are already good 'nuff, for most people and they have the added advantage of making your goodies from metal, right off the bat.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke


Offline ND Martin

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 01:48:00 AM »
Apples and oranges, Ken.  CNC is a subtractive process--cutting a shape from existing material.  3d printing is additive--building a shape by depositing layers of material.  Makes possible shapes with complex interiors that cannot be machined with CNC. 

Of course as a 'tool guy' myself, I would love to have both capabilities in my shop.  ;-))

Offline Ken

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 04:44:21 AM »
Ah, yes, but the CNC machines allow much greater accuracy, than the 3d printers.  Heck, the only 3d printer that achieves any real ( 300 microns ) precision uses resin.

On the other hand, if you used a CNC machine and had Borazon tipped cutting and drilling edges, you could get both high-speed and get to make stuff with fairly durable materials.  Say a 5-axis Hypermill, with Borazon tipped cutting/drilling edges.

Don't get me wrong, I see value in both types of machines, but from a personal viewpoint just prefer greater accuracy and durability with anything I'm shooting.

Check the following for some other info using 3D printers and firearms.

http://www.survival-preps.com/index.php?topic=3416
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline ND Martin

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 01:51:41 PM »
The 3d printer is emerging technology in its infancy whereas CNC is the industrial state of the art.  The trend is clear, however, that the 3d printer technology has more potential to produce quite intricate and complex shapes that are simply not possible with the best CNC.  The techniques are rapidly improving, for example check out this industrial-grade SLM  process:

Direct Metal Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an additive metals manufacturing technology with a growing presence in the healthcare,  aerospace and high technology engineering and electronics sectors.

The SLM process uses a high powered laser to fuse fine metal powders together layer by layer direct from CAD data to create functional metal parts. After each layer a powder re-coater system deposits a fresh layer of powder in thicknesses ranging from 20 to 100 microns. The SLM system uses commercially available gas atomized metallic powders to produce fully dense metal parts in materials including Titanium, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome and Tool Steel.



I like going to the source for info where I can so just FYI, here's Defense Distributed's website and their blog where you can track their progress.


Offline Ken

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 05:19:58 PM »
Yep, I am aware of the SLS prototyping machines and the biggest drawbacks are initial costs and reoccurring costs.  Otherwise, it would be real nifty to own one. (Easily start at over a million, for initial cost and from $75,000 to $200,000 for yearly maintenance )

But they have already begun to appear on some of the Navy's support vessels.  (Don't have the part, just print from stock metals!)
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline ND Martin

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 11:38:58 PM »
I did note that the SLM process was 'industrial grade'--not something you're gonna pick up at Sears or Tractor Supply...yet.   Do you recall how much the first few generations of computers cost?  For a very long time the notion of a 'personal' computer was folly. 

I hope to live long enough to see the early days of nanotechnology compilers for home use--at least a decade or three away yet assuming that the fan doesn't get so terribly encrusted that we're plowing with oxen again.  For a vision of nanotech in full flower, check out Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age.

 

Offline Ken

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Re: Need a high capacity magazine? Print one...
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 02:13:31 AM »
Oh, yeah, I'm fully aware of what's going on with desktop manufacturing. (You would not believe just how many desktop manufacturing companies are in the local tech incubators!)

BTW, DARPA still has an iPod sized field medical factory, in phase 2, only for another few months.

I think like any good concept, there should be multiple approaches.  I'm just keeping track some of the different types that are being worked on, and I'm just waiting on the winners, for my own selfish interests.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke


 

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