First ever metal 3D printed gun manufactured in the US

The gun has fired over 600 rounds in testing and 'functions beautifully'

A fully-functioning metal gun has been 3D printed for the first time ever by a firm in the US.

There has been a great deal of discussion and controversy surrounding the 3D printing of guns and now, a metal M1911 pistol has been printed in 3D by Solid Concepts in Austin, Texas, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology.

DMLS, an additive manufacturing technology, works by taking 3D computer-aided design (CAD) data and slicing it up into numerous 2D components. Each component acts as a blueprint for the 3D printer, telling the machine where to sinter the metal material. Every component is sintered, building the gun up layer by layer. For the gun in question, each part was printed using DMLS technology except for six springs.

A video (below) has been released by Solid Concepts which shows the gun being put through initial tests. The firm are now claiming that over 600 rounds have been fired by the pistol and that it “functions beautifully”.

So is a 3D printed metal gun cause for concern? For now, at least, it doesn’t appear so. The 3D printers that are available to the general public are far from capable of printing in metal. According to Solid Concepts, the printers required to carry out such an action can cost in excess of one million dollars. Furthermore, a federal firearms licence (which Solid Concepts has) is needed to manufacture the gun.

And even though the firm has cracked the production of the gun, it currently doesn’t have any plans to sell it. Writing on the official blog, however, Solid Concepts has said that it is “weighing its options for the future” and that any commercially available gun would retail “in the five-figures”.

Keen to clarify the firm’s motives for 3D printing the metal gun, Phillip Conner, the DMLS manager at Solid Concepts said: “When we decided to go ahead and make this gun, we weren’t trying to figure out a cheaper, easier, better way to make a gun – that wasn’t the point at all. What we were trying to do was dispel the commonly held notion that DMLS parts are not strong enough or accurate enough for real-world applications.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16k - £22k

    £16000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16...

    Langley James : IT Sales Executive;Borehamwood;£40k(neg) uncapped comm£100k+OTE

    £40000 per annum + £100k+ OTE: Langley James : IT Sales Executive; connectivit...

    Recruitment Genius: DevOps Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A DevOps Engineer is required t...

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, West Yorkshire c£25k

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital