posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 06:02 AM
Ok, first reaction I had to the video, was that its very interesting that they have finally started making firearms with metal 3d printing, and that
it is about time too. However, one thing that did make me sit up and take notice, was during the first three shots we see fired from the gun, held in
the hand of the chappy in the god awful coat (honestly, either camo, or no camo, not part camo. Just makes you look a douche).
Now, I have never fired a weapon before, but I have studied very closely all manner of video on the subject, as well as being present for live fire
demonstrations at a local military base (I was a kid, my father worked for the MoD).
It seems to me that after each shot was fired from the pistol, the slide seemed to catch a little just before returning to the ready position. Now,
as I said, I have never fired a pistol myself, but that seems a little odd to me. Im sure someone with more experience with these things will up and
tell me that I am a twit for even mentioning such a thing, but it struck me as odd.
I think this three dimensional metal printing technology however, is bloody amazing, and has some pretty far reaching consequences, which have
nothing to do with firearms technology. I think the reason they chose to make this weapon in this manner, is because the firing of a bullet from a gun
is one of the most high stress conditions you can put a bit of metal through, without constantly applying ever increasing pressure to it. The sudden
expansion of gases inside the firing chamber, the carriage of the bullet down the barrel, the immediate changes in thermal conditions inside the
weapon are a great crucible to prove the metals worth.
And therefore this proof of concept has great value for anyone who could see a use for the process used to create this metal construct. The process
could be applied to any scenario where a metal object of reasonable durability will be required, and will make parts ordering for things like motor
vehicles of all ages, washing machines, ovens, old fixtures and fittings, out of production mechanisms of all sorts, so much easier than they
For instance, say you own a classic car. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, if a part goes awry, it can mean months on a waiting list,
or worse, having to source a part yourself. Some of the customers at my store work for a company which restores such things, and are forever
complaining to me in conversation, that this is one of the tougher parts of the job, because some parts just are not that readily available, and one
would have to search from here to the edge of Russia to get some of them. But if their company invests in a system such as the one which produced the
gun in the video, then they could merely take the broken pieces of the part which they require, run them through a bit of imaging software, add in any
missing parts (teeth in a gear for example)in that software, and print the complete new part.
Now, obviously the stresses involved with gears are different to those involved with the operation of a pistol, and there is every chance that the
more sustained pressures required of a gear mechanism would not be conducive to the use of printed metal in its current format. But the beauty of this
as I understand it, is that the process can be refined for the purpose required, settings altered to focus on one or another characteristic of the
metals strengths. So it is entirely possible that the three dimensional techniques applied in the video, could translate into other fields, and that
bodes well for all manner of areas of craft, design and technology.
It also has fantastic implications for space technology, avionics in general, and an uncountable plethora of other fields. I for one am very