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Viability of 3D printed design?
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  PappaSunrise

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Posted: April 11 2017 at 1:07am | IP Logged Quote PappaSunrise

After taking a break from gun building I have gotten my 3D printer up and running quite well. After learning more about the process and understanding it's limitations I want to propose some ideas that I know have probably been covered previously but want to share anyway. The most dangerous part of completely 3d printed guns is the barrel made from plastic , they are simply too unpredictable and dangerous. So what I would do is use a pre manufactured barrel from a pistol such as a glock and just design it around that. Keep in mind however that in order for a 3d printed gun to be legal it must contain 3.7oz of metal. So in addition to the glock barrel one could simply use an AR trigger group which should put the metal weight close to 4oz. This solves two problem s in my opinion 1. The dangerous barrel issue and 2. The plastic trigger parts that may wear out and fail at any time. What do you guys think?
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  backbencher

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Posted: April 11 2017 at 6:50am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Solves a lot of issues.  There may be less expensive bbls, and I think some AK fcg are cheaper than the AR, though AR lower parts kits are getting down to $30.
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  PappaSunrise

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Posted: April 11 2017 at 8:35am | IP Logged Quote PappaSunrise

Yea I could look on numrich for a cheaper barrel.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: April 11 2017 at 10:25am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

I'd buy something simple and thread in (to adjust headspace).

Like a 10-22 barrel, and thread the end (or use their existing vee block configuration) for simplicity.

Not sure what caliber you're going for. Probably 9mm?

I posted, probably two or three years ago, Sten barrels were on sale for 80 bucks each. More than enough meat to thread those. I have one of the 16" Sten barrels here and the profile is identical to my 9mm AR barrel. I believe they all came from the same source.
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  UKBiker

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Posted: April 11 2017 at 2:14pm | IP Logged Quote UKBiker

Para many Sten barrels are actually made in two pieces, the chamber end where it enters the trunnion is often a sleeve to increase the diameter which is pressed on and held with a small diameter cross pin.
It appears to have been done to save on better quality steels, and reduce machining time/costs.
It should be possible to turn the shoulder off completely quite easily, or if the pin is found and pressed out the larger diameter flanged part could be pressed off the barrel section proper
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  justin22885

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Posted: April 13 2017 at 12:25pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

youre going to need more steel than just the barrel, whats this barrel lock to? if its semi, whats the slide/bolt riding in? whats the bolt made of?.. its almost impossible to make a gun thats majority plastic, even polymer handguns like a glock are fundamentally steel they just replace the grip/trigger guard section of the frame with polymer

because of how many parts need to be metal, and how even low stress parts such as an AR-15 lower falls apart after even a couple shots, ive never given 3D printing for firearms another thought.. i wouldnt even trust it enough to make a pistol grip for my AK to be completely honest
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  backbencher

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 1:06am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

  The Austin boys got a lower to work; War Fairy's Charon looks rather durable.  The newer designs skip the thumbhole stock of the Charon in favor of a heavily reinforced buffer tube boss.

Now, wood, you have a point.  Orion's Hammer's pine lower only got 3 shots off before jamming.
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  justin22885

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 1:51am | IP Logged Quote justin22885

professional AR manufacturers have been having a hard time getting much stronger injection molded lowers to work, cracking where the tower meets the rest of the receiver is very common on something many times stronger than an injection molded piece.. you can find people making claims online all day long

the real shame i see though is when people spend as much if not more money on a 3D printing setup than what they would spend on a small 3-axis CNC milling machine setup that can actually make real gun parts with no compromise to strength or longevity

and then theres sheet metal which has a lot more promise than 3D printing as well, i sketched up a 2-piece stamped or bent sheet metal pistol frame more or less copied from the polish P-83 wanad

i think the root of the problem is here is that people want instant results and instant gratification, they dont want to learn how to do things the right way, learn how to machine, learn about metallurgy or design things themselves, they just want to be able to push a button
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  backbencher

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 12:13pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Hence why the Cav Arms/GWACS lower is a single piece lower/stock, as is the Charon.

The root of the problem is time.  Most folks don't have time to learn how to machine, learn about metallurgy, or how to design firearms.  Most folks are engaged in working and raising their families, and keeping momma happy.

In my 4 years here, I've not found the time or the money to learn to weld, machine, or CAD in anything other than Legos.  Through sheer luck and perseverance I've learned basic Dremel and managed to hacksaw my way into a working firearm.
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  PappaSunrise

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 2:15pm | IP Logged Quote PappaSunrise

Here you go Justin.
https://3dprint.com/118279/shuty-mp-1-semi-automatic/

I'll tell you a little something about myself, I don't like being told what's impossible. If you tell me using a certain material for an application isn't possible, I will make it work out of spite or fail trying. But I will try. I don't mean it to insult you or anyone else, it's just how I am. I like to experiment. I made a functional AR magwell block out of polymer clay for crying out loud lol.
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  justin22885

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 2:31pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

you can waste countless hours, days, months, or years trying to get something that'll hold up even 1/1000th as long as a properly built rifle, throw thousands of dollars at having to rebuild broken frames and receivers after they fail and break 10 rounds into them

or i could spend a fraction of that time, a fraction of that cost, and have a real firearm by doing it right, this isnt about insulting anyone, its about reality, the media tried REALLY hard to push around this myth that people are out 3D printing guns en masse in order to spread fear and panic in favor of legislation but it just isnt a reality

youd have a better time 3D printing parts out of wax, packing them in wet sand and then casting them with better materials
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  backbencher

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 7:50pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

I'm with you, Pappa, my .22" LR auto ejector has a part that claims there's no way it could be incorporated into a firearm.  In fact, it just needs the back end of it hacksawed off and a thumbhole stock to mount to.
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  PappaSunrise

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 11:10pm | IP Logged Quote PappaSunrise

Yea your ar trigger jig lower might actually be a neat base for a 3d printed "shell" that could house a magazine well so it could be used with upper other than the 5.7. Is it more practical than an all plastic lower? Maybe. But practicality isn't exactly a requirement for fun now is it?
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  PappaSunrise

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Posted: April 14 2017 at 11:16pm | IP Logged Quote PappaSunrise

I know for a fact I could make a .22 or .25 single shot that would hold up to many uses. I could use acetone smoothed ABS, or even nylon. Those rounds are relatively low power so a thick plastic barrel may be able to contain the pressures. Will it work as well as a metal gun? Maybe. Will it be as durable? Of course not. Aside from fiber filled polymers metal will always win against plastic. But that's not what I started this thread about. I didn't start it because I wanted to know IF it's possible, I want to know HOW I can make it happen one day. We are here for fun and to learn from eachother. Nobody learns anything by saying something is pointless or impossible. We all can learn.
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  backbencher

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Posted: April 15 2017 at 12:03am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

PappaSunrise wrote:
Yea your ar trigger jig lower might actually be a neat base for a 3d printed "shell" that could house a magazine well so it could be used with upper other than the 5.7. Is it more practical than an all plastic lower? Maybe. But practicality isn't exactly a requirement for fun now is it?


The trigger jig would only give one a shortcut in printing time.  There's no issues w/ printing the AR FCS receiver area.  The weak point of the AR lower is the buffer tube boss.  There's a couple ways around the problem in the 3D printing work, the Charon being the most elegant in my opinion.
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