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The RAMBO grenade launcher is comprised of 50 parts, and all of the components, except the springs and fasteners, were produced using 3D-printing. Different parts of the grenade launcher, however, were manufactured using different materials and additive manufacturing techniques -- the barrel and receiver were fabricated from aluminum using a direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process, while the trigger and firing pin were printed using alloy steel.
When developing the grenade launcher, the Army wanted a weapon that could move through the prototype stage and land in the hands of soldiers quickly. Instead of waiting for months for a single machined prototype weapon, Army researchers were able to 3D-print and test multiple versions of the grenade launcher in a fraction of that time. It took 70 hours to print the barrel and receiver and another 5 hours to finish off the part in post production. Overall, instead of years, it took a mere six months to produce a weapon and compatible ammunition that was suitable for test firing.
originally posted by: worldstarcountry
a reply to: TrueBrit
Did you not watch the video?? It shows everything from design, printing, and firing of the round. It does not have to have explosives in it to prove anything. The round was loaded, it fired, and impacted target.
Took how long to 'print' all those components?
It took 70 hours to print the barrel and receiver and another 5 hours to finish off the part in post production.
Its useless without chemicals, something they can't 'print'.
From a 3D-printing point of view, the grenade was a success. Three of the four main parts of the M781 grenade -- the windshield, the projectile body, and the cartridge case, were 3D-printed. Only the .38-caliber cartridge case was purchased as a separate unit and then pressed into the 3D-printed cartridge case. It is worth noting that the rounds are not live, as the addition of explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics have not been approved for use in a 3D-printed shell.
They re not trying to print any of the chemicals.