AUSTIN, Texas (UPI) — A specialty manufacturing company in Texas said it made the first metal gun using a 3-D printer.
Solid Concepts said on its website it fired more than 50 rounds from the handgun, hitting a few bull’s eyes at more than 30 yards.
“We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, vice president of Additive Manufacturing at the Austin-based company. “And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License. Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”
The pistol is a version of an M1911, a handgun designed by John Browning and first used in the latter part of the Philippine-American War.
The 3-D-printed metal gun proves that 3-D printing isn’t only for “making trinkets and ['Star Wars' character] Yoda heads,” the company said.
CNN said Solid Concepts it wasn’t advocating a trend that law enforcement and others find worrisome: People creating untraceable weapons without leaving their homes as the availability of 3-D printers expands.
“Let me start out by saying one, very important thing: This is not about desktop 3-D printers” that cost about $2,000, said company spokeswoman Alyssa Parkinson in the post.
“The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition [and I went to a private university],” Parkinson said. “And the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they’re doing and understand 3-D printing better than anyone in this business.”