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
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Life and Style
life
News
‘The Graduate’, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was directed by Nichols in his purple period
people
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 : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

    Ampersand Consulting LLP: Server / Infrastructure Engineer (Exchange, Windows, VMware)

    £28000 - £36000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Serv...

    Langley James : Business Systems Manager, PRINCE2, Surrey £55k - £80k

    £55000 - £80000 per annum + BUPA: Langley James : Business Systems Manager, PR...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
    Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

    What are Jaden and Willow on about?

    Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
    Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

    Cold war

    How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
    Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

    Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

    From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
    Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

    Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

    New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
    Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

    Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

    ‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager