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Printed AR-15


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They can "print" metal objects with "layered sintering" too. The metal dust is carried in a flux and laid into shape by the printer and then the whole object is baked in a furnace to "sinter" the particles together. It has been in use in aerospace for quite some time now.

It is a lot more involved than simply using a plastic based ink but produces a product that is much more durable. Ceramics can be built using the same process by "dabbing" little drops of mud instead of little drops of paint. They already are using this in industry but the just dont call it "printing". It is called "Layered Sintering". The item is fired after it is built with a computerized nozzle just like a printer only the material it applies has a thicker consistency and layer thickness than "ink".

They also "build" stuff with a material a lot like "hot glue" that is held in solution with heat and then it solidifies after being "dabbed" by a computer operated nozzle...Just like a high tech hot glue gun.

They were making little chips at NASA using a highly conductive material and printing it on little pathways on a ceramic backing. While it was not really "3-D" it does have a specific dimension and is just an "ink jet" type of affair that applies a conductive solution on a built up electrical pathway.

They can also "grow" metal into a shape using electrolysis. Just like plating onto and electrode! At some point shapes will be "built" out of metals by drawing them out of solution into a specified form directed by a computer and electrical currents.

Cool stuff.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my coworkers uses an Ultimaker 3D printer at work for various things. One of my projects had a lot of things which are the result of his toy. It's one of those high-tech plastic printers. Only it prints in a continuous line of melted plastic. Pretty danged cool.

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Glenn,

The company I use to work for would have proto-types made up similiar to what ya'll talk about. But I can't remember what it was called. They would duplicate injected molded plastic parts way ahead of the actual molds being made to get a first hand look at the finished part. In some cases these parts were used in show models. But they were very delicate and brittle. I always hated to handle them cause they ain't cheap. Like 50k each if I remember right.

Rim

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The printer can make the part 1-100% solid and all manner of bead thickness, depending on what you want to do with it.

We've actually printed several things that are final parts and they hold up well.

Most, though are prototypes and we use them for proofs or to send for machining.

These parts cost all of a few cents to a couple bucks in material. The pricing on this sort of stuff has come way way down. Even the machine we have was just a couple grand.

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Hey Glenn ... Can you print me up a few AR-15 30 rd 5.56 NATO mags ... I can't find any and need some for my new Hogan AR-15 .... and while you're at it how about a few thousand rounds of 5.56 NATO to fill them ... you can send to my residence ... let me know when they are ready and I will PM my address to you!

Mike F

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Glenn,

I did a little reading and I think our parts were sla's. And they were large parts like 2.5 ft.X2 ft. with several radius and angles.

Now they even have circuit board printing.

This is a cool site.

http://www.optomec.com/Additive-Manufacturing-Applications/Printed-Electronics-for-3D-Printing

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I was at Black & Decker in Miami, FL, a few years ago on business and they gave us a tour of their R&D facility ... They had a machine, don't remember what it was called, that could create virtually anything from a computer file ... We got to watch as they created a Roomba vacuum but they explained that they could create virtually anything... Amazing ... A laser point just created the thing, seemingly from thin air ... It wasn't there when they started then suddenly it was ... They said it was quite expensive ... And they had a room with dozens of things on the shelves that they had created ... Cheers, Unc

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