|Printed Metal Handgun from Solid Concepts|
A post at the Solid Concepts blog describes the pistol and the method of its construction in more detail. It is a 45ACP model based on the classic Colt 1911 45caliber (the design of which is in the public domain). A Direct Metal Selective Laser Sintering (DMSLS) process was used to print the more than 30 parts required in stainless steel and Inconel 625. The handgrips, which are seen at the bottom left of the picture here, were printed in plastic.
Solid Concepts VP Kent Firestone says that the goal of this exercise was to prove that the DMSLS technology has advanced to the point now that it can create components that are very accurate and very strong, that the process is ready for mainstream manufacturing use... Regarding the first point, Firestone says that no finish machining was used on any part, only some hand finishing. With respect to the second point, he notes that each time the gun is fired the barrel experiences a pressure of 20,000 psi.
The folks at Solid Concepts have run more that 1,000 rounds through the gun now. The video below was made to document their 500 round endurance test. You can see more videos from Solid Concepts at the Solid Concepts YouTube channel, including one about the DMSLS printing process.
Tip of the hat to the Dezeen blog, where we first saw the gun.