Join The Discussion

 

Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

read more >

Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

read more >

Monty Bennett: Businessman, water district activist

Monty Bennett’s name will not appear on the ballot for the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors yet he remains a powerful backstage player whose influence could shape the direction of the district’s business for years to come.

read more >

Westchester Plaza manager says "business as usual" for now

The future of a redevelopment plan for the 50-year-old Westchester Plaza on Fort Worth's Near Southside is unclear.

read more >

Price appeal: Condos going up on Near Southside

Chris Brassard and Omar Diaz had apartments in mind when they built a 12-unit complex on May Street just south of West Magnolia Avenue on Fort Worth’s Near Southside. Then their leasing agent, Will Northern of Northern Realty Group, suggested they consider selling the units as condominiums.

read more >

 

Texas company makes metal gun with 3-D printer

A Texas company says it has made the first metal gun using a 3-D printer, taking the debate over people's emerging ability to create their own firearms to a new level. Solid Concepts, a specialty manufacturing company, said in a blog post it has fired more than 50 rounds from the handgun, even hitting a few bull's-eyes at more than 30 yards.
Credit: Courtesy Solid Concepts

Doug Gross

CNN

(CNN) -- A Texas company says it has made the first metal gun using a 3-D printer, taking the debate over people's emerging ability to create their own firearms to a new level.

Solid Concepts, a specialty manufacturing company, said in a blog post it has fired more than 50 rounds from the handgun, even hitting a few bull's-eyes at more than 30 yards.

The pistol is a version of an M1911, a handgun designed by John Browning and first used widely in the latter stages of combat stemming from the Philippine-American War. It's built from 33 mostly stainless-steel parts and has a carbon-fiber handgrip carved with a laser.

"The 3-D-printed metal gun proves that 3-D printing isn't just making trinkets and Yoda heads," the company said in the blog post.

Solid Concepts went out of its way Friday to point out that producing the metal gun isn't meant to advance a trend that worries law enforcement and some politicians. As 3-D printers become more widespread and affordable, some envision a near future in which criminals can crank out untraceable weapons without having to leave their homes.

"Let me start out by saying one, very important thing: This is not about desktop 3-D printers," Alyssa Parkinson, a spokeswoman for the company, wrote in the blog post.

The metal gun wasn't a move toward making firearms with a 3-D printer cheaper or more accessible, she wrote.

Basic 3-D printers, such as the MakerBot Replicator 2, can be bought for around $2,000. But Solid Concepts used a specialized, high-end printer whose cost would be out of reach of most people.

"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."

Solid Concepts wanted to show that 3-D printing is more than just hobbyists churning out plastic doodads -- it's a viable option for serious commercial use.

"It's a common misconception that 3-D printing isn't accurate or strong enough, and we're working to change people's perspectives," Kent Firestone, a vice president at the company, said in a statement.

In May, a nonprofit group, also from Texas, stirred far more controversy when it posted a video of the live firing of a plastic handgun created with a 3-D printer.

Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old self-described anarchist, posted instructions on how to make the gun online through his nonprofit group, Defense Distributed.

Those instructions were taken down after the U.S. State Department sent the group a cease-and-desist letter. The group's website was shut down shortly afterward.

Solid Concepts is a licensed firearm manufacturer. It said one use for its new capabilities with 3-D printers may be selling replacement parts for handguns.

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?