Before we step into the content, I would first like to thank Defense Distributed, the pioneers in bringing 3D-printed guns into the Defense Industry. But since guns are hazardous, they shouldn’t be handled without the necessary license and regulations.
This is one limitation in this 3D-printed gun manufacturing industry.
But I’m sure if you’re reading this article, you must already be aware of all this. And now, do you want me to suggest a few best 3D printers for gun parts?
Well, then I can do that for you.
I have done in-depth research and created these five 3D printers that I felt were a good choice for printing gun parts. You will see an easy-to-understand buying guide and some tips for Printing Gun Lowers at the end of this article. I’m sure that content also will be helpful for you.
With that said, let’s see who the winners are on this list!
LIST OF THE BEST 3D PRINTER FOR GUN PARTS
- Print Technology: FDM
- Max. Build Area: 270 x 200 x 200 mm
- Layer Resolution: 50 microns
- Weight: 50.7 pounds
- Bed-Leveling: Manual leveling
- Printing Software: Cura, Simplify3D
- Compatible material: Consumer materials (PLA, ABS, PETG, Flexibles)
- Connectivity: USB, WiFi, LAN
- Print Technology: FDM
- Max. Build Area : 220 x 220 x 250mm
- Layer Resolution: 0.1mm
- Weight: 17.19 pounds
- Bed-Leveling: Manual leveling
- Printing Software: Cura, Simplify3D
- Compatible materials: ABS, PLA, PETG, TPU, and more
- Connectivity: MicroSD card and USB A ports
- Print Technology: FDM
- Build Area : 230 x 150 x 140mm
- Layer Resolution: 100 microns
- Weight: 15.4 pounds
- Bed-Leveling: Manual Bed Leveling
- Printing Software: Dremel studio and Simplify3D
- Compatible materials: PLA and ABS
- Connectivity: USB A and SD card ports
REVIEW OF THE BEST 3D PRINTER FOR GUN PARTS
To start with, let me give a small note about the Manufacturer itself:
Qidi Tech has been manufacturing top-quality 3D printers for 6 years, so you can rely on this product for printing your gun parts.
Now moving on to the specs, this is a filament-type printer compatible with materials like PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, Nylon, PC, Carbon fiber, etc.
The design and make of this 3D printer are excellent. Apart from just portraying the robust build and the strong plastic shell surrounding the printer, there are many more things.
Like dual filament holders, yes, When this machine arrived at my place, I found it to have 2 filament holders. One inside the printer’s builder space and the other outside.
The outer filament holder is useful when handling rugged materials, which I used for printing the gun frames and parts of the lower receiver.
Not only that, the printer has a dual filament holder design; even the printing bed design will serve a dual purpose.
Yes, the 3D printer has an easily removable 2-sided magnetic plate; you can use either side of the plate based on the filament type.
One of the strong reasons I recommend this printer for making 3D-printed gun parts is because the smoothness and finish are excellent. You can also print large gun frames with this 3D printer. Thanks to the well-built large build plate!
In terms of the extruder, the printer comes with a Single Extruder (For printing materials made of such as PLA, ABS, and TPU ). You can upgrade it later with an additional Extruder (which can be used to print high-temperature materials like Nylon, Carbo Fiber, and PC). This is possible because the 3D printer is built with two sets of QIDI third-generation extruder assembly.
Overall, for making gun frames and other gun accessories, you will be playing with a wide range of materials, and the perfect printer for all that is this Qidi Tech X-Plus 3D printer.
The printer is slightly expensive, but it will yield the expected results! Give it a try. You’ll know what I mean!
You must be already aware of the brand – Creality the Ender 3 3D printer from Creality is one of their popular best-selling models.
This printer can easily make fun accessories like gun receivers, lowers gun frames, gun stands, and holsters.
Printing gun parts is a time-taking process, and during the process, the filament may run out, or you may face power outage issues. But for you to have a consistent operation with utmost comfort, the company has included 2 functions: print resume and filament runout detection. These 2 features will be beneficial for your large printing process.
You will find a detachable LCD on the printer’s metal base to easily access the print settings.
Another feature I liked about this 3D printer is that the printer bed made of glass heats up quickly at 60oC in as little as 5 seconds.
And you know that the higher the temperature you heat the filament, the stronger your lower receivers and gun parts will be.
Isn’t making gun frames now very easy?
Unlike screws holding the extruder array, here, a V-guide rail is what supports the extruder. So better movement and precision are ensured! And like the previous model, the extruder is also a Bowden type.
To conclude, I would like to say that this Creality Ender 3 V2 3D Printer will not deliver a top-quality finish like the QIDI X-Plus 3D printer, but for the price, the performance isn’t disappointing.
If you already have a high-end 3D printer for your gun part manufacturing company, you can have this as an add-on printer to speed up your printing orders.
Next up on my list is the Dremel Digilab 3D20 printer. You can opt for this if you have no budget constraints and are okay with spending on a professional printer to make gun frames and other related accessories.
This brand has been successfully manufacturing power tools for 85 years, and its 3D printers are reliable.
Now let’s learn more about the usefulness of this 3D gun printer:
Firstly, The compact structure of this equipment makes it best for those who want to save some table space.
As the first product in this list, here also there is a plastic shell covering the print building area. But the thing is, you can’t open the shell during printing.
Dremel provides USB A and on the printer for connecting to the printer. However, the printer’s software architecture is closed, so you cannot modify its software.
One downside of this 3D printer is the plate is non-heated and non-removable. As the plate is non-heated, you can use PLA filaments only.
Apart from that, all the other features are superb with this 3D printer. I’ve tested it, and It delivers quality gun parts and accessories.
You can check the specs and highlights of the printer if you’re doubtful if the printer will suit your requirements.
Now let’s see about a budget 3D printer for printing gun parts, frames, and lower receivers. The Anycubic Mega S – is the successor model of the famous i3 Mega series.
Let’s see how this Mega S 3D printer will serve our gun accessory-making:
Apart from just seeing the print speed and resolution for 3d gun printing, we need to see how reliable the machine is.
And for that, I feel that this machine does the job. I say so because the machine is sturdy, and I fell in love with the print bed of this 3D printer.
The print bed should have good adhesion to finishing your gun parts properly. To satisfy that, the Anycubic 3D printer has an Ultrabase build plate that is also heated to have better adhesion and avoid warping issues.
Next, you’ll work with high-temperature and flexible materials for printing your 3D gun parts. In that case, it is good that the 3D printer has a Bowden extruder design. (Here, the extruder will be directly above the nozzle and attached to the printer’s frame, and the filament will be led through a PTFE tube pointing to the print head.)
And luckily, this amazing printer has that! The single Bowden drive extruder can reach temperatures of 275oC and handles various high-temperature materials like Nylon, PETG, PLA, TPU, etc.
Next, as this is a budget option, you can’t expect it to have auto-bed leveling technology. You need to adjust the nozzle height and level the bed manually.
Note: This 3D printer doesn’t come fully pre-assembled at your doorstep; you have to jolt the assembled parts together using the wires and bolts provided.
Lastly, we have the latest version of Creality’s CR-10 printers – The CR-10 V3.
For a few reasons, I feel this printer will be helpful for 3D gun printing. I’ll explain that here:
Firstly, the accuracy of this printer is commendable. The printer is fully metal and boasts 2 cross braces on either side to add that extra stability to the printer parts.
For printing gun parts, it’s recommended that the printer has a large build area. Only then can you print components of large guns (e.g., AR-15 gun parts) easily. And luckily, the CR-10 V3 ensures that.
The print bed is a heated type, so you can use materials like ABS and Nylon while making your 3D gun equipment.
The extruder is a direct drive extruder, meaning you can get the best print quality and precision in your final product.
On the whole, this 3D printer is a great buy for gun enthusiasts!
3D Printers for Guns: A Basic Concept
Guns are one of the most complicated 3D models, and when it comes to printing them, extra care must be taken.
For a 3D printer to print an accurate and smooth gun and its parts, the essential requirement is the FDM technique, so it is advised to go for a printer with FDM techniques.
Different layers in the printing process further affect the output 3D printed gun model, so one must consider the speed, cost, and color options, and material. So, to print a good, accurate, smooth gun model with good finishing, these elements are required to be taken care of.
Furthermore, another step is to select the suitable polymer, powder, and metal for the perfect 3D-printed gun. A little tip here: people also use the programmable tooling technique to design a temporary mold and then fill it with an injection molding process.
However, to add on, there are seven different manufacturing processes. Specifically, material jetting, directed energy deposition, binder jetting, vat photopolymerization, powder bed fusion, material extrusion, and sheet lamination can be used to differentiate between these processes, which vary depending on the deposited layers.
Difference Between 3D-Printed Guns and Manufactured Guns
There are some critical differences between 3D-printed guns and manufactured guns, which are highlighted here.
- Printing 3D guns are cost-saving as when you choose 3D printed guns, you do not need to purchase a gun. Instead, you only need to print it.
- You do not need to specifically register your 3D-printed gun with the government, as compared to manufactured guns, so basically, this means your 3D-printed guns will not have serial numbers.
- You can save yourself from the hassles of background checks done by the officials if you want to buy a manufactured gun.
- You need not wait throughout the long processes to be completed and can have your 3D-printed gun model right with you the moment it’s printed.
- Creating 3D-printed guns can sometimes be more expensive if the printer and material are superior to normal ones.
- Printed 3D guns are less accurate and have a slow firing range. So, unlike manufactured guns, you may have to check for 3D-printed guns before using them.
TIPS FOR PRINTING GUN LOWERS, RECEIVERS, AND FRAMES
As 3D printing of gun parts is crucial and involves a lot of licenses and regulations, you must follow the steps given below
- Check Local Regulations
I also emphasized how important this is at the beginning of this article. Some states have bans on using 3D-printed guns.
So before purchasing a 3D printer, ensure you understand the necessary regulations.
- Choosing the Appropriate Filament Is Important
Guns and gun-related accessories are, by nature, dangerous. Imagine how disastrous it will be if the gun parts become flimsy after some time.
To avoid that, you must choose the right filament for printing. I recommend using ABS and PETG filaments for making firearms as they are tensile and durable.
- Be patient until the process is complete.
Always remember that even slight mistakes in gun manufacture will lead to jamming issues. So even if the process takes time, ensure the intricate details have a smooth finish.
1. Which 3D printer is good for printing guns?
The printers mentioned in this article will do a good job printing 3D gun parts and accessories. But you’re asking for the best of the best from this list.
So I’m telling you this. If you don’t have any budget constraints, I suggest the R QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-Plus 3D Printer. It will give a smooth finish to the printed gun parts.
If you’re for a budget pick, you can go with any of these:
2. Can 3D printers be used for gun parts?
Yes, you can print gun parts using a 3D printer. After the release of the FGC-9 (ARES Research Report No. 8), 3D-printed firearms components have started growing.
3. What is the best filament to print gun parts?
The best filament for gun parts, as per my knowledge, will be these:
- High-Temp or reinforced Nylon as Nylon can withstand high temperatures.
- PLA+ or Polycarbonate
4. Is PLA good for gun parts?
Not PLA, but PLA+ would be better and safer for making 3d printed gun parts as they are more durable. If you choose to use Nylon, that could be the best. But make sure your printer is compatible with using Nylon filaments.
5. Can 3D-printed guns shoot?
Yes, 3D-printed guns can fire hundreds of rounds. However, they are slow-firing compared to traditional firearms and can be disastrous when not made with the right precision.
6. What are 3D-printed guns?
3D-printed firearms are firearms using 3D printing technology.
There are 2 types of 3D-printed guns based on the material used for construction:
- Combination of plastic and metal
7. Are 3D-printed gun parts safe?
Many speculations around say that 3D-printed guns aren’t reliable. The main reason is printing 3d gun parts at home without the necessary licenses.
So, if you have this doubt, remember to have the proper legislation before proceeding. Yes, 3D-printed guns are slow-firing. Other than that, it’s your decision to construct them properly to avoid accidental hazards.
You can refer to the tips above for the proper-finished product and ensure safety.
So far, I think you have noticed the best 3D printer for guns; that was my take on printing gun parts using 3D technology. As mentioned above, this is a gray area, so please take proper care of the irregularities during the printing process.