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  • 3d printing

    I've been 3D printing for a little while now, and I've gotten pretty decent with it. I'm also just now getting into building my own rifle from the ground up, while purchasing as few parts as possible.

    My goal is to build an AR15 based rifle. I have found quite a few files out there for the lower receiver and butstock. And other little bits like the handguards that have been 3D printed and proven to work.

    One thing that did surprise me is finding an upper receiver. Has anyone here printed any rifle parts and proving them to work themselves? Specifically an upper receiver? I just don't see it being a good option, but if it has been proven to work I am curious...

  • #2
    A 3D model can be used to CNC a part or to 3D print a wax model for investment casting I can't see a plastic upper being up to the pressures involved for very long.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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    • #3
      Actually there is at least one polymer upper on the market, and I think there have been more. Granted they are probably something like glass-reinforced nylon, stronger than a 3D printed part, but still weaker than a normal forged receiver. I don't like the idea of a plastic upper and agree they're probably relatively short-lived, but the truth is they don't have to handle any pressure from firing, just the stress of holding the barrel and handguard.

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      • #4
        My buddy has been doing a LOT of 3d printing in order to determine the proper settings for each type of filaments. We were discussing the ways to make a small "push in axle" for a project. One of the drawbacks was that the model can end up with "grain" as the plastic is laid down in layers. Cracks can follow that grain.

        If I were trying to print an ar15 upper I'd have steel inserts that bear the brunt of any rubbing, movement or shock.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.

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