3D Printed Ruger 10/22 Receiver

For the Ruger Charger:

Interesting how even with 3D printers being relatively new, people are able to do this and have a working modern semi-automatic firearm.

I’m sure once more people get ahold of the 3D file for this, it will be a popular one.

3d-printed-ruger-charger-receiverTo bad .22 LR ammo couldn’t be printed, am I right guys? :P  That joke was seriously made dozens of times in the comments on each version of this video.

So much .22 LR available on this post though apparently.  I get emails from people weekly too, it’s mind boggling.

Thoughts?

8 COMMENTS

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derpmaster July 8, 2014 at 07:24 am

Yawn. You still can’t economically 3D print the most essential components (barrel and bolt), which must be made out of some form of heat treated metal.

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junyo July 8, 2014 at 04:17 pm

Yet those parts can be bought without paperwork, so if I want to annoy hippies, I care much less about them and much more about producing ‘OMIGURD, invisible unregulated machine deathmurderguns made in some red staters basement!!!!’

Every single article about 3D printing has some genius making the ever so brilliant point that “…but you still need metal parts!” Well no shit. The last barrel I made out of salt water taffy, while delicious, did not work well at all. The point, for some of us, isn’t the everyday economics of producing a firearm. It’s the democratization of firearm manufacture and the accompanying pants wetting by the progs.

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derpmaster July 9, 2014 at 06:33 am

I get your point. What constantly irks me though is that basically any machinist worth a damn could make a much better part using basic machine tools that have been around since the 1880s, and a lot of people have been doing exactly that for decades. Everybody gets super excited about 3D printing gun parts and waves their arms in the air screaming “EHMAGERD PEOPLE CAN MAKE THEIR OWN GUNS” when the reality is that this has been going on basically forever. As for the “democratization of firearm manufacture”, there have been drawings of DIY guns available for decades. There is absolutely nothing new here except for the fact that machining skills have been removed from the equation, and the durability of the end result has arguably been divided by about 20.

I work in engineering/product development and I can’t tell you how many customers think that 3D printing is some sort of magical cure all. We 3D print parts all the time for show and tell/design verification type applications, for which it is an awesome technology. But for stuff that is going to be made in volume or is expected to last, we get dies made for injection molding or have it machined. Basically for me it all boils down to hype versus substance. 3D printing gets hyped like crazy but in reality it’s just another process technology that has it’s own strengths and weaknesses.

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junyo July 9, 2014 at 09:04 am

And I get your point. A couple of close friends of mine are machinists, and they make EXACTLY the same argument. The problem is, what’s second nature for you guys, isn’t for the average schmoe. Removing machining skills from the equation is a non-trivial change, which is a lot of the reason for the hype.

I came up with a part I wanted a couple of years back, whipped it up in Sketchup, and asked one of my machinist friends how easy it would be to fabricate. Well, simple, only not at his shop since he didn’t have the tooling for some of the shapes. Let’s talk to this other dude. Long conversation in which my eyes glaze over as it becomes an increasing more difficult and expensive process. Cut to me, a couple years later, with my sub $1k 3D printer, and no greater knowledge about machining, cranking out the part myself, in about an hour. Then, I needed a QD plate for a unique application, and while there were several off the shelf designs in metal I designed my own and printed it out of ABS. I got exactly what I wanted, with no middleman, and if it’s not as durable as it could be, it’s durable enough.

Which is where 3D printing works. You’re thinking about life time durability and production costs at volume. I’m thinking about something I want/need a) now/just in time, b) over a manufacturing run of one, that’s c) durable enough for the task at hand. As you say, a technology with it’s own strengths and weaknesses.

On this topic… if my wife doesn’t kill me, I’m thinking about trying a Lost PLA cast receiver (http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/). 3D printed (kinda) metal baby!

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DocN July 9, 2014 at 08:16 pm

Adding to this topic: It’s a question of skills and costs.

Making that receiver on manual machine tools requires a nontrivial level of skill and an equal amount of experience. Making it on a 3D printer also takes some skill, but in this case, a considerable portion of that skill is what they call crowdsourced. One guy supplied the drawing, another converted the drawing to a CAD file, a third converted the file to whatever the printer needs. The end user often has little to do but plug the program into the machine, load it with plastic, and press “go”.

It’s also cost. In both cases the bigger and fancier the machine the more it costs, and in both cases small ‘desktop’ machines exist. But a small 3D printer can be had for $1,500, and needs little more than a spare computer and a roll of plastic. A barely-adequate mill-drill starts at about that same price, costs hundreds more in shipping, and needs twice that again in tooling to do the same job.

Yes, people have been making their own firearms for years. That’s not the point. The point is that, as noted above, it’s being democratized- anyone can do it, anywhere.

The advent of digital transmission of sound files threw a dumptruckful of monkey wrenches into the the well-entrenched record label establishment, the repercussions of which have still yet to be truly settled. 3D printing is doing the same thing to the firearms industry- although to a far lesser extent. In the latter case, it’s going to throw the monkey wrench into firearms *law* rather than at other manufacturers.

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SiGraybeard July 8, 2014 at 07:16 pm

Too bad he doesn’t tell you that he’s posted the file somewhere.

If they’re stereolithography files, I think I can import them into my 3D CAD program turn ’em back into a solid model and then make them out of metal on my CNC mill.

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Mount July 9, 2014 at 01:17 am

The horror!

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Eric July 8, 2014 at 09:29 pm

I love making my own firearms. I’m a tinkerer at heart and got into it before 3D printing became popular. I don’t really see anything special about making a 22lr with a metal tube. All you need is a tube, pen, and hammer. Now, the method of knowledge transfer is impressive – no longer do you have to be able to read blueprints and study engineering. All you have to do is download a file and click print.

As a side note – I’m really surprised that “open carry” people don’t 3D print their own lowers. I would love to see a YouTube video how it goes when a cop looks at the receiver and says, “Where’s the serial number?!” Hopefully 3D printing your own firearms doesn’t change the law to prevent an unlicensed person from manufacturing their own firearms.

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