How to test rapid-fire shots of 3D printed guns
By James K. Bagnell, New Scientist / Associated Press / Associated Images 3D printing is the next big thing in high-speed manufacturing, but it’s also an increasingly difficult challenge for scientists to understand and replicate.
In fact, a new study by a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that they can make 3D-printed guns in only a few hours.
The team, led by Professors Michael Zandt and David Kowalski, used a computer model to test a range of three-dimensional gun models to find the accuracy of a range at which the 3D printers would have to be fired.
The paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that they used a printer capable of printing parts with a range that ranges from 200 to 500 microns, a range with a high likelihood of error.
The authors suggest that this is a great starting point for further research into the 3-D printing of gun parts.
The 3D printer is the perfect platform for this type of testing, the authors write, because it is self-sufficient and self-contained.
It’s also capable of producing all parts in the model in a reasonable amount of time.
This means that, although 3D printable guns may be more challenging to test, they are not impossible.
Professors Zandts and Kowalcski, who have been working on the problem of precision in 3D guns for about two years, say that they hope that the paper will be used by others to validate the accuracy and reliability of 3-d-printed gun parts before they’re widely available.
The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.
3D Printing and the Military The paper is an important first step in the way that scientists can test the accuracy with which 3D designs can be made, says Professors Kowalakski and Zandtl.
They’re looking at ways that they could make 3-dimensional designs, like using a printer that can build 3D models from a set of designs that have been tested with other 3-DS printers.
Theoretically, this could be a useful way to test the design accuracy of these 3-Ds, they say.
But Professors Bagnells and Zendl say that 3D prints of these designs should be more than just theoretical.
They say that, in the real world, military personnel will be firing the weapons, and the accuracy tests that would be conducted would have a lot to do with the weapon firing.
“In the real-world, this is the first time that you can have a machine that can print a 3D design that is able to do that, and then it’s a really good test of the accuracy,” says Zendtl.
The gun is actually firing the gun, and we’re just trying to understand what’s happening when the gun is firing the design, says Zandtz.
“So if we can do this sort of thing, and it can actually do it, then that means we can get a better understanding of how the design was manufactured.”