world's first 3D printed metal gun successfully fires 50 bullets
world's first 3D printed metal gun successfully fires 50 bullets world's first 3D printed metal gun successfully fires 50 bullets
nov 08, 2013

world's first 3D printed metal gun successfully fires 50 bullets

world’s first 3D printed metal gun successfully fires 50 rounds of bullets
all images courtesy solid concepts




3D printing service leader solid concepts has manufactured the world’s first 3D printed metal gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. the semi-automatic pistol is based off the design of a classic 1911 and has already successfully fired over 50 rounds of bullets without breaking. the fire-weapon is constructed with 33 17-4 stainless steel and inconel 625 components, and features a carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip.


‘the whole concept of using a selective laser sintering process to 3D print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy and usability of metal 3D printing as functional prototypes and end use products,‘ says kent firestone, vice president of additive manufacturing at solid concepts. ‘it’s a common misconception that 3D Printing isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.’



detail of the 3D printed .45 caliber pistol



world’s first 3D printed metal gun
video courtesy solid concepts inc.


  • Waiting for the hypocritical shocked comments… But it is way easier, quicker and cheaper to buy a used, unregistered gun at a gun show in the USA. That is the real problem that needs to be addressed.

    max says:
  • Great work guys!

    What about the barrel? Is it “printed” too?

    Karen Vrtanesyan says:
  • So true Max ..


    JimCan says:
  • Before anybody panics about this, the machine this was printed on costs $600000. I also want to point out this technology is over 20 years old, has been used in rockets by nasa, in engine parts by formula1 teams and chances are, somebody has prototyped gun pieces on one already.

    Even when the patents on this printer expire, the laser alone to melt the metal powder costs roughly $20000.

    Nobody should be freaking out about this. This “release” is just for publicity, to create hype, to get the media to pick up the story and scare you.

    You should all be afraid of this machine like you should all be afraid of Elon Musk.

    mkuniac says:
  • Bit of a sad achievement, no?

    isabelle says:
  • I love visiting your site every day, but you’re a showcase for design, not political and moral commentary like “waiting for hypocritcal shocked comments.” Of course, you’re entitled to do whatever you want, but you’ll lose this viewer and likely others. Just sayin…

    But in response, I am horrified at how guns are abused, and that is not a hypocritical statement. We do NOT need easier access to guns and we certainly do NOT need the ability to make them in our own homes and garages.

    DBS says:
  • The above comment is in error as far as accusing Design Boom of what was actually the first comment in the post by Max. My embarrassing error. (Moderator, please feel free to remove both these comments! But my real comment was valid about not needing to be able to make our own guns.

    DBS says:
  • So many issues…in brief: hate the term 3D printing to encompass all additive mfg. methods. There is 3D “printing” (goop in layers), SLA(laser set liquid resin), SLS(laser set plastic powder), and Laser sintering (melting) of metal powders, which was used here, as well as a couple of other less common types. 2. Nobody can buy an “unregistered” gun at a gun show. All state and federal laws still apply whether you are at a gun show or at home or in a gun store. That is a myth perpetuated by the anti-gun people. 3. Sad achievement? Only in a jaundiced socially superior viewpoint. As mentioned, technology must be tested to the breaking point and this method has, with parts for rockets, surgical implants and many other critical applications. Firearms are a great area of testing because of the many different forces exerted on the device and parts that make up the device. Tolerances of fit and shape retention are two of many variables that can be verified with this tech and platform. 4, I too was concerned about the barrel and whether it needed secondary finishing until I saw the tiny group he was shooting on the bullseye. 5. This device would be prohibitively expensive in the real world.

    Karl says:
  • Printed at a cost of 600K? I doubt this project is done to make a statement. Creating controversy is always the best advertisement. I just wonder who are the clients they are aiming at.

    Airborne says:
  • Wonderful video. It showed how effective the final product is through firing several shots and surprisingly, it is still very functional and operational. Pretty soon, they will be starting to make 3D-printed long arms and heavy artillery too. So cool.

    Charles Touchet says:
  • I agree with Karl; the controversy is a great way to generate media coverage. I’m excited by the technology as this is the early days of development of a lower cost production method for high performance parts made in printers. The days of CNC may be nearing their end! Imagine a 4m Voxeljet metal printer. You could print almost any machine you could imagine, as large as a car, a working one.

    Daniel says:
  • I’d like to see the application of the technology for the NASA, GP, bio med applications…. Rather than see it produce an example product that has a singular purpose. ‘Hype’ is very over- rated.

    Alfons says:
  • And here I thought design was about enriching people’s lives, not ending them. What’s next…3d printing of shower heads for Auschwitz?

    Ken says:
  • Really? All that money, time, R&D and you print a gun that was designed over 100 years ago that STILL needs tweaks out of the box to shoot straight? C’mon, “SolidConcepts”, you could have picked any one of a huge number of better-functioning automatics that don’t jam, have better mass centralization and are proper automatic pistols. The 1911 is ancient. This is a waste of time and money. To anyone who knows the first thing about guns, 50 rounds isn’t even a good afternoon at an average range. This is hype, pure and simple. Hype. Get over yourselves.

    yeesh says:
  • Why are people even worried about a “printed gun” when you can buy one on the street in most major cities? Gun control is a joke. And the “gun show loophole” that people freak out about is a joke. Someone with a hacksaw and some steel pipe can make a working shotgun in about 30 minutes. Most gun crimes happen in areas of the country with the strictest gun control laws. And gun violence is at an all time low anyway. Don’t believe the hype.

    john says:

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