Saturday, 9 November 2013

World's first 3D printed METAL gun

After all the furore over 3D plastic guns this latest piece of news may sound even more sinister to some. An American company has just prototyped the world's first metal model 1911 hand gun...

Now, you might ask just why this may be even more controversial than a 3D printed plastic gun? Well, I can see several reasons that this process will have people in an even greater uproar than the plastic variants of 'DIY' guns - and not all of these people will be the anti-gun lobby...

First of all, being able to produce guns in metal means that you will be able to build a gun that can withstand greater pressures than it's plastic counterpart, and this means that you can make guns that use larger and more powerful calibre ammunition. Furthermore, it means that you may be able to build a gun that can handle the stresses of fully automatic fire - like submachine guns and assault rifles.

But it is the consequences of Solid Concepts - the company who has made this 3D metal gun - replicating a conventional and popular gun format of the '1911' that is perhaps the stand out issue that may have even gun manufacturers worried.

3D metal printed 1911 components by Solid Concepts, USA
Quite aside from the concern about criminals eventually having access to 3D printed guns that look like guns there is other criminal activity that will be very interested in seeing whether 3D metal printing becomes as easy to access as 3D plastic printing has. I am talking, of course, about the pirate counterfeiters.

Counterfeiting and brand piracy are two of todays most lucrative and widespread commercial activities and dare I say that it's one of the worlds most publicly accepted crimes!

Think about it - can you say all your music or movies are legitimate? Is your wife's Dolce & Gabbana handbag a real D&G product? Come on guys, is that really a Rolex you are wearing?

Airsofters are very well aware of the propensity for Chinese companies to be able to reverse engineer and produce cheap knock-offs of more expensive replica guns, so what will stop them doing the same with real firearms?

These are just some of the worries that 3D metal 'printing' brings to the table - however, it's perhaps not all bad news, airsofters may wonder how long it will be before we see a Chinese 3D metal printed AEG clone.

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