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More on that 3D Printed AR-15 Magazine

Steve of the Firearm Blog asked someone to try it, and on their home unit, that’s presumably a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic, the results weren’t quite as good. We found ABS is a pretty poor material for magazines too, but it’s certainly doable.

4 Responses to “More on that 3D Printed AR-15 Magazine”

  1. NevynPA says:

    I saw that one guy was experimenting with polycarbonate printing – I wonder if it’d work better?

    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/10/fdm-printing-with-polycarbonate.html

  2. PhilaBOR says:

    Prototype machines are just that. They make prototype parts. They use different processes than volume manufactured parts. Additive machines lay down layers of material, mostly either polymer goo that is hardened later, or molten strings of plastic that cool into a solid part. Unfortuantely, the goo resins are not as strong as molded plastic, and the molten strings aren’t as strong between layers as molded parts.

    Mass production processes such as metal stamping and injection molding use stronger materials and deposit them in a manner that aligns and orients the plastic molecules or metal crystals for optimum strength. Of course, you can mold cheap plastics and get cheap mags, but if you use top quality high strength plastics, you will get a much better part than any additive rapid prototyping machine available to date.

  3. PhilaBOR says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention, tolerances aren’t great in rapid prototypes compared to a process with dedicated tooling that was dialed in by manufacturing engineers and tool makers.

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