Ran across this article today. Really think that in the future you will see the majority of firearm components made this way. If costs can be kept down, it will be a godsend for collectors wanting to replace parts on firearms that up until this technology, you couldn’t get replacement parts for.
I am surprised the cost is 35% less than CNC machining. Having the ability to reproduce non-existant replacement parts has obvious value. Parts for my Star 31p .40 cal, for example, don’t exist anymore.
@jeffing65, My very first semi auto pistol was a Star BM 9MM. Also have a Star M1 30 9MM. I could use a couple parts for the BM, but the M1 30 is like a Sherman tank. 10’s of 1000s of rounds through it and it shoots as good today if not better than when it was new.
I dont like the idea of printed parts. price is cheap now, but in sure when it makes CNC obsolete then the prices will skyrocket. just like when 4 axis CNC replace data punch card CNC which replaced single point machine work, which replaced a millwright with a file… the replacement started out cheaper, till the old way fell to the side, then price went up…
@Texprep my 31 is built like a tank too. it shoots fine but it could use a new extractor. The one in it I had to re work a little, to get it to extract reliably, but it will still FTExtract fully on occasion.
You might be dead on with that.
The setup costs are high and cycle times are low. If they can run fully automated around the clock, the costs may come down. Not sure it will ever compete with investment castings and forgings as the capital has been spent already and cycle times are low. It will all come down to manufacturing costs.
@Greyghost1962 I can relate to that and your right. Production cost is the deadly nightmare.
Battle against competition with a full production operation " purring away like a paid for kitten " is a really, really mean animal .