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3D Metal Printing

early attempts

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Billy Mills06/12/2013 20:06:19
377 forum posts

First cheap metal printer is based upon a mig outfit and a deposition platform. Platform runs a bit warmer than plastics models. **LINK** has the details.

Very much work in progress, not Santa-ready yet!!


Jeff Dayman07/12/2013 01:28:27
2237 forum posts
47 photos

Just FYI If you want to have a punt at DLS, or direct metal sintering, there are several service bureaus around the world using EOS and other machines to sinter metal powder into solid parts direct from a 3D CAD file. For a small part, costs are in the hundreds of dollars. A 60 mm dia x 20 mm mould insert I recently had quoted was $1500, for example. It required high acccuracy and had some intricate internal cooling passages. Accuracies to a thou or two are possible, normal commercial quality tols are +/-.005" or so. Arcam in Sweden is one European service bureau and GLP near Chicago is one in USA. There may be a few in UK too, but I don't know them. Renishaw (the measuring probe firm) make a commercial DLS machine I am told. Google is your friend.

Bear in mind these commercial machines cost well over a million dollars each to buy at present and I am told it takes several years to train staff and do enough jobs to learn how to get accurate parts out of them. It is likely going to get cheaper and more accurate as time goes by. Because of the very high cost of machines and the time commitment to train staff, most companies today use a service bureau if they need DLS parts.

I have also been warned that all commercial DLS machines are NOT created equal and some have major inherent faults despite the huge cost. However, the EOS brand machines are widely regarded as the industry standard best machines at the moment.


Bazyle07/12/2013 11:26:55
6387 forum posts
222 photos

On a slightly simpler takc there are metal bearing clays that artists use by molding and then firing. Mostly bronze but also gold and silver. Potentially these could be used in an extrusion head on a printer and then finish machined where it matters.

Springbok07/12/2013 11:38:28
879 forum posts
34 photos

it is takeing a very long time to load gave up in the end

Clive Hartland07/12/2013 11:41:04
2838 forum posts
40 photos

As an additional piece of info, they have indicated that the making of guns and gun parts from the 3 D machines will have a 10 year sentence attached. Whereas at the moment possession is 7 years.

I doubt if any of these types will have a million $ to spend for one anyway.


Edited By Clive Hartland on 07/12/2013 11:41:37

John McNamara07/12/2013 12:10:01
1341 forum posts
127 photos

Making a gun with a three D printer is hard work, it requires expertise in several disciplines, including engineering, electronics, materials science, metrology and many other skills. Also many hours that ultimately produce an inferior product. I doubt if the average pug ugly is going to bother they will have connections and be able to get a real one.

The recent video of one produced by sintering has stirred up the chattering crowd, hmmm so the feds got out their sledgehammer against the machines. It is a pity they did not aim the blows at the bad guys who use commercially built weapons and up the possession sentence.

Model aircraft in particular quad copters are also being scrutinised; Its only a matter of time. particularly if one is used in anger by some miscreant. Lets hope that never happens.


Jeff Dayman07/12/2013 13:18:20
2237 forum posts
47 photos

The media in North America seems fixated on the making of guns with home 3D printing methods. I don't know why, because you sure can't make live ammunition on a 3D printer. You still need to find propellant, and pack it into ammo properly to make a usable item. For that matter, I don't know if 3D printers at home will work with lead, anyway.

In the USA you can get a used hand gun in many gun shops in several states with 25 rounds of ammo for between $100 and $300 in perfect working order. If someone wanted a gun (who knows why) a shop purchase would be far cheaper than getting a 3D printer, and faster and easier than learning enough to use a3D printer to make a gun.

BTW Handgun companies in USA are working at capacity, making thousands of new units a day. Presumably there is a market for the product or they would not make the stuff.

Why the fracas about 3D printed guns? TO CREATE A MEDIA FRENZY and sell lots of air/page time.

Don't feed the media machine - pay no attention to such sensationalist moronic uninformed drivel.

Just my $0.02.


John Stevenson07/12/2013 14:36:02
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Clive Hartland on 07/12/2013 11:41:04:

As an additional piece of info, they have indicated that the making of guns and gun parts from the 3 D machines will have a 10 year sentence attached. Whereas at the moment possession is 7 years.

I doubt if any of these types will have a million $ to spend for one anyway.


Edited By Clive Hartland on 07/12/2013 11:41:37

I query the making gun parts ?

A few years ago the RoF in Nottingham were responsible for making the Heckler and Kosh MP5 machine pistol as supplied to HM Forces.

In a knee jerk reaction about us Brits making guns they ' appeared' to close the operation.

What actually happened was the production went sub contract and RoF Nottingham closed and is now a business / retail park.

I picked up the contract for making the triggers as one of my customers already supplied the blanks to RoF. In a meeting with them to sort out supply etc I brought up the issue of making gun parts and did I need a license / authorisation etc.

I was told that anyone could make gun part up to a certain percentage of the weapon without any paperwork at all, what that percentage is was never discussed.

So from then on I made about 2,000 triggers every 4 months or so for about three years until the whole project got shipped back to Germany. Let me tell you if you have to make this lot on an on going job you don't want to see another gun in your life.

However this is all hype sprung up by the media because for the price of a decent 3D printer which will only produce a limited affective weapon you can buy a mill and lathe that will make a fully functioning weapon.

One only has to look at the history of the sten gun, designed to be made in vast numbers with the most basic of equipment.

Total hype by the unwashed fourth estate.

I'm not going to put this in print but in this county you can buy a 'weapon' which fired at a person or even into a car will kill all the occupants. You can buy it mail order or over the counter with no ID.

It's 'ammunition' is also unregulated.

Steve Withnell07/12/2013 16:40:46
848 forum posts
215 photos

2000 triggers every 4 months for three years? Not surprising you have a slightly insane look about you!

Billy Mills07/12/2013 17:03:53
377 forum posts

Here's a DIY article and a lot of links **LINK**

Interesting that many people mention guns not the model engineering applications.


John Stevenson07/12/2013 18:29:08
5068 forum posts
3 photos

When this process first came to my notice, probably 8 -10 years ago one of the things they were doing were prototyping carburettor bodies which are ideal with these things due to all the internal passages.

About this same time I had to make a remote spray head for a spray gun but miniaturised into a brass block 3/8" x 3/4" x 1". Hardest part was reading the drawings and trying to understand what each view and sectional view was.

In the end I had to redraw it just so I could do sectional cuts to see where all the holes were going. Probably took a full day to machine it but 3 or 4 nights planning the job. Whoever designed it did a good job except for one part as some of the holes missed by 10 thou or so.

The exception was a hole threaded at 4 x 0.35 but the gland nut was denoted 4 x 0.5

I queried this to see which one was correct but the company doing the job for the MoD insisted that it took 3 years to get the drawings approved and a change would take an extras year so just do them and let the MoD worry why it wouldn't fit. !!

jason udall07/12/2013 19:09:30
2031 forum posts
41 photos
John S..just make it to drawing....yeah. Hear that
Clive Hartland07/12/2013 19:21:24
2838 forum posts
40 photos

Re-Cartridge reloading, in times past I have reloaded almost all popular calibres. I cast lead bullets and resized cases and measured powder very easily, in fact I made some of the equipment myself. case length cutting tools and also modified throating dies for individual guns.

All the components are available commercially, jacketed bullets and and cast bullets in all calibres. Empty cases and powder of all different burning rates are also available for reloading. Shotgun case reloading was a worthwhile pastime as it brought the cost down to about 2.5p per cartridge. in those days.

Those days all long gone I am afraid and the only thing left is Black Powder guns and extended barrel pistols.


jason udall07/12/2013 19:29:14
2031 forum posts
41 photos were the percussion caps "put" in..caps seem very "delicate" just wonder how they were pressed home
Oompa Lumpa07/12/2013 20:24:35
888 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by jason udall on 07/12/2013 19:29:14: were the percussion caps "put" in..caps seem very "delicate" just wonder how they were pressed home

You literally press them home, it's pretty straightforward.

I do a good deal of firearm repair and the laws are nuts. If I want a barrel for instance for a particular gun and that barrel is made to fit a specific gun - what a palaver! Copy of the Registered Firearms Dealer certificate by Fax and everything.

Barrel Blank? Completely different and anyone can buy one because it doesn't actually fit anything(?) Totally Bonkers.


jason udall07/12/2013 20:38:18
2031 forum posts
41 photos

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