Military Review

Impact of 3D and 5D printing on modular small arms

34

It's no secret that 3D printing is now actively developing not only for complex parts, but also for entire mechanisms. Recently, 5D printing has appeared, it allows you to make almost any part much faster than 3D printing, and make it even stronger due to the special technology of new generation printers.


In connection with such a rapid development of this technology, gunsmiths began to look for ways to use it in weaponry. And it's not about printing out details to the rifle arms, and about the full cycle of its manufacture by the 3D method - 5D-printing. Although the first attempts did not give much result: due to the time spent and expensive equipment, the weapon turned out to be almost golden. However, every day 3D - 5D-printing becomes more and more available, and developers do not give up hope for the benefits of this technology.

Some designers have opted for partial 3D - 5D printing. And use it only for complex parts, the production of which requires too many machines or very painstaking work with high probability of marriage. And it is for such a task that modern modular weapons are perfectly suited. For example, the Sig Sauer P320 pistol. The smallest mechanisms of this weapon are located in a separate trigger assembly. So its developers are planning to produce it using 3D - 5D printing.


This will further reduce the cost of weapons manufacturing technology and, accordingly, make it even more accessible. So far, only isolated attempts are being made to introduce these developments into mass production, however, positive trends have already been identified.

It is obvious that more and more countries are switching to modular types of firearms, which will entail a revision of all the principles of modern weaponry. If this technology takes root, then the weapon in the future will be similar in structure to the Sig Sauer P320: several bodies and barrels for different calibers and from 1 to 3 main assembled boxes with basic spare parts.


How soon engineers and designers will come to printing a full-fledged model on 3D - 5D printers is not yet clear. However, in the near future such an innovation will not be used en masse, but all the prerequisites for this already exist.
Author:
34 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Herman 4223
    Herman 4223 4 November 2020 12: 29
    +1
    As I understand it, there is also the problem of the high cost of the material from which the 3-5D printer should make this or that model. The material requires separate preparation and is not cheap compared to steel, duralumin or brass blanks, for example.
    1. Generator Systems
      4 November 2020 13: 05
      +4
      Materials are just powder mixtures, plastic or metal is not so important) It just makes no sense to print the barrel or springs, for example, it is easier to make them separately so trite cheaper) But the muffler with their complexity of manufacturing has often begun to be printed good
      1. Herman 4223
        Herman 4223 4 November 2020 13: 28
        -1
        About that and speech, how much does it cost to make a powder metal mixture? This is a complex technological process, and this kind of material cannot be cheap. Plastics in this sense are simpler and there probably makes sense. But metal.
        1. psiho117
          psiho117 4 November 2020 14: 01
          +2
          Quote: Herman 4223
          how much does it cost to make a powdered metal mixture? This is a complex technological process

          Not really - powder metallurgy was known back in the 3rd century BC, in Ancient Egypt, and in the 19th century it went into mass production.
          Industrial production of powder, by reducing ore, is now inexpensive, and every year more and more.
      2. Dmitry V.
        Dmitry V. 5 November 2020 09: 30
        +3
        Quote: Systems Generator
        Materials are just powder mixtures, plastic or metal is not so important) It just makes no sense to print a barrel or springs, for example, they are easier to make


        Let the technologist put in a word:
        - springs, a complex element, a certain composition of the metal and heat treatment, affecting the parameters of elasticity. In general, I doubt that the 3 / 5D method will be able to print springs, without further dancing with tambourines on heat treatment.
        - barrels, the material is a little simpler, but manufacturing is simpler: simple bar blanks, those operations are relatively simple: radial forging, drilling, mandrel, heat treatment, chrome plating (internal), blackening (or another method of anti-corrosion treatment) - here the cost of subsequent operations is more expensive than the cost barrel (short), or comparable to match quality barrels.
        It is possible to obtain a barrel by fusing the powder material (to reduce part of the operations), but this is energetically very expensive and not economically justified.

        It is just the small details of the trigger mechanism, of a complex shape, that require many operations with metal-cutting equipment and are expensive, even in mass production, and this is where the price approaches the products formed by 3D-5D printing methods.
        So no revolution is expected, some evolution in production optimization
    2. Svetlana
      Svetlana 4 November 2020 14: 19
      +2
      Do not understand correctly. Raw materials are always much cheaper than parts prepared from them, regardless of technology. And this is an axiom.
      If the raw material costs a million per kilo, then the product from such raw materials will cost hundreds of millions (also per kilo)
  2. Generator Systems
    4 November 2020 12: 59
    +3
    In general, it is logical good
  3. DWG1905
    DWG1905 4 November 2020 13: 01
    +5
    The article is not about anything, I wonder if the author himself made and printed at least one solid-state model? And moreover, modularity for 3D printing. Metal printing now quite exists (by laser sintering) and some details can be printed. But post processing is still needed and, like any process, there are technological limitations. Now, if you print in zero gravity, then the range of details can be expanded, and post processing can be reduced.
  4. Same lech
    Same lech 4 November 2020 13: 09
    +1
    Mdaaa what ... how many opportunities arise here for an inquiring mind.
    Moreover, you can print not only the weapon itself, but also various personal belongings to it ... all sorts of, for example, decorative overlays under the owner's arm ... you can change the geometry of the weapon to suit every taste and imagination ... both firearms and edged weapons ... now the time has come ...
    1. psiho117
      psiho117 4 November 2020 14: 04
      +2
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      how many possibilities

      It's too early to talk about it. This is how every home (or at least in household stores) will have a 3D printer, with which we will produce all the little things, buying not a product, but a "recipe" for its preparation, then yes.
      1. Same lech
        Same lech 4 November 2020 14: 09
        0
        I would like to say about the prospects of such devices ... of course, if you come to grips with increasing their capabilities, then the use of such devices can be found in the national economy anywhere. hi
      2. Was mammoth
        Was mammoth 5 November 2020 09: 32
        +1
        Quote: psiho117
        It's too early to talk about it. This is how every home (or at least in household stores) will have a 3D printer

        The granddaughter at the school competition made (under the guidance of her father) a printer and a working model with his help. Plastic. The girl who sewed the dress won the competition. wink
      3. Ua3qhp
        Ua3qhp 6 November 2020 19: 04
        0
        Quote: psiho117
        This is how every home (or at least in household stores) will have a 3D printer, with which we will produce all the little things, buying not a product, but a "recipe" for its preparation, then yes.

        Now an inexpensive 3D printer for plastic is 30 thousand rubles. PRINT.
  5. Operator
    Operator 4 November 2020 13: 52
    -3
    Printed products are crooked, oblique and porous. Therefore, printing is only used for prototyping products.

    For serial production of the same pistol trigger parts, metal / plastic casting using lost-wax wax models, which are made on a CNC machine, is suitable.
    1. Maki Avellevich
      Maki Avellevich 6 November 2020 10: 07
      0
      Quote: Operator
      Printed products are crooked, oblique and porous. Therefore, printing is only used for prototyping products.

      technology has stepped forward
      1. Operator
        Operator 6 November 2020 10: 32
        -5
        It is clearly seen that the printed product in the form of a body of revolution is pockmarked and requires mechanical revision. Plus, a funnel-shaped product is easily and simply obtained by the classical method of stamping from a cylindrical blank, and the lateral processes are also welded with classical welding. I am already silent about the classic milling, drilling and grinding, which I had to use to make a "printed" product.

        In addition, printing, by definition, is required for the manufacture of complex products that are not bodies of revolution - the latter are quite capable of using traditional methods of processing metals and plastics. And if we also take into account the injection molding on the lost wax model, then modern printing technology has a very narrow niche.

        In general, laser printing is justified only when using refractory structural materials, the melting temperature of which lies beyond the capabilities of metal molds - for example, chambers and nozzles of liquid-propellant engines. But this is an extremely small-scale production.
  6. Undecim
    Undecim 4 November 2020 14: 29
    +7
    How soon engineers and designers will come to printing a full-fledged model on 3D - 5D printers is not yet clear. However, in the near future such an innovation will not be used en masse, but all the prerequisites for this already exist.
    As always, when technical questions surface, the site authors display a profound ignorance.
    For the information of the author, the "innovation" is already being used "in large quantities", while every effort is being made to make it "even more widespread." In the US military budget, in particular, about 15 million dollars are allocated for this. Here you can write, moreover, more than one article.
    At the same time, the question is not about the production of small parts of small arms, but about things that are much more complex and responsible.

    This is the injector head of the "Vulcain" rocket engine, which is used on the launch vehicles of the European Space Agency "Ariane".
    The French Groupe Latecoere makes extensive use of additive technologies to produce custom tooling.
    In 2015, the US Navy began implementing the installation of 3-D printers on board ships in order to save space for storing spare parts and simplify logistics.
    Lockheed Martin Space is using the EBAM Sciaky process to make titanium satellite fuel tanks. Using this technology, the company was able to cut component lead times by 87% and cut lead times from two years to three months.
    Norsk Titanium "prints" parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Satair for Airbus.
    By the way, besides 3D and 5D, there is also 4D.
    1. Dmitry V.
      Dmitry V. 5 November 2020 09: 58
      +1
      Quote: Undecim
      For the information of the author "innovation" is already used "in large quantities"


      There is a difference in piece, pilot and mass production.
      3D printing is not mass production, too energy-consuming, slow and expensive.

      Quote: Undecim
      This is the injector head of the "Vulcain" rocket engine


      piece production - the cost of 3D printing, allows you to simplify the production of such piece products and possibly even get a price gain.
      Quote: Undecim
      Since 2015, the US Navy has begun implementing the installation of 3-D printers on board ships in order to save space for storing spare parts and simplify logistics.


      It's pretty simple: you have 100 destroyers, each consisting of 30000 parts.
      But there is no way to take all of them on board - the displacement will not allow.
      Critical that can be obtained by 3D printing 2000-3000 items.
      Let's say a warehouse of spare parts on a destroyer is 1500 items of which 500 mono-structural parts can be printed in the size of a 3D printer (2-3 nomenclatures of metals, 4-5 types of plastic).

      In total, we have 100 destroyers x 3 types of printers = 300 printers in plus, in minus 100x500 = 50000 pieces of parts that may not be needed to take up space on the ship, as a result, most of them will never be used and written off on time.
      In general, 3D printers will come out more expensive than "floating warehouses" of parts, but here comes the factor - combat readiness, when the ship's combat readiness is lost, in whole or in part (a critical part) - the part is needed here and now at any price.

      A ship on a cruise is not a case when a part can be delivered at any time - difficulties with logistics and time play a decisive role - then 3D printing will have a chance to receive a part within 12-30 hours directly on the ship.

      Well, the option of 3D printers on the ISS - here again the high cost and complexity of logistics is a decisive factor.

      Quote: Undecim
      Norsk Titanium "prints" parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Satair for Airbus

      In aviation, when parts are made in small series or piece by piece, the same rule is - expensive and low-volume parts produced, based on economic feasibility, it is worth changing the production technology to 3D.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 5 November 2020 10: 43
        +2
        There is a difference in piece, pilot and mass production
        Have you decided to educate me about the difference between piece, prototype and mass production? Okay, then the question.

        This is a mascara brush. Manufactured for Chanel by a contractor - Erpro Group, a 3D printing company, in the amount of one million pieces per month. What kind of production is this - piece or trial?
        1. Dmitry V.
          Dmitry V. 5 November 2020 11: 57
          +1
          Quote: Undecim
          Have you decided to educate me about the difference between piece, prototype and mass production?


          How can I teach the DTN of technical sciences, a professor, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences ... some kind of engineer, an aircraft production technologist ... God forbid.

          Quote: Undecim
          This is a mascara brush. Manufactured for Chanel by a contractor - Erpro Group, a 3D printing company, in an amount of one million pieces monthly

          Is it okay that in the composition of the product only one "innovative" part (3-4% of the weight) is made by the 3D method?

          How to make a split die by the electroerosive method, to modify the gating exits - the comrades decided to make a part in a complex 3-dimensional way :)) An excellent example of marketing efforts.

          I'll even tell you why - the mold does not allow forcing plastic under pressure into closed cavities and the thinner the channel, the more rejects.
          The 3D printer has a limitation in the size of the detachable drop (resolution), therefore "the cilia of the Chanel brush are not the thinnest, compared to competitors obtained by traditional methods, but the traditional complexity with the shape is not 360 degrees, the Chanel has 360 degrees, but not the most thin and not long - a compromise.
          Chanel's pricing policy (Revolution $ 35 in retail), allows himself the luxury of purchasing 3D parts :))
          At first, a chanel brush with a weight of 3-4% is 15-20% of the cost of the entire product (bottle, counter pen, ink)
          1. Undecim
            Undecim 5 November 2020 12: 13
            +2
            Your sarcasm, in this case, is out of place. You explained everything in detail, but did not answer the question that was discussed initially - a million items per month - mass production or piece production?
            If you have forgotten, the question was not about the technological features and the calculation of the cost of the product, but about the possibility of using additive technologies in mass production.
            Therefore, your information is interesting, but not in essence.
            1. Dmitry V.
              Dmitry V. 5 November 2020 13: 29
              +1
              Quote: Undecim
              If you have forgotten, the question was not about the technological features and the calculation of the cost of the product

              The production technology determines the cost - a brush can be made for 5-10 eurocents (injection molding) and for 1 euro (3D printing), in both cases there will be restrictions, and even then it is permissible if the total budget for the cost of the final product is 10 euros ...

              As a technologist, I can build production on any technology that fits into the budget
              On a 3D printer, such small plastic parts can be formed 20-30 pieces per cycle. Delivered 100 3D printers - that's 200-300 pcs per cycle, let's say a production cycle of 2 hours - a total of 12 cycles per shift: 12x30x100 = 24000 pcs per shift for 30 work shifts 720000 pcs.
              This scaling of production can be optimized by the number of equipment or the number of parts per cycle.
              At the same time, an automatic press and a casting mold will be several times cheaper than 100 pcs. 3D printers
              This is not optimal, but acceptable when certain properties or shape are required. which are difficult to achieve other than 3D printing or in small batches.
              1. Undecim
                Undecim 5 November 2020 13: 36
                +2
                Back to the beginning - are additive technologies applicable to mass production?
                Answer options. 1. Yes. 2. No.
                1. Dmitry V.
                  Dmitry V. 6 November 2020 09: 36
                  +1
                  Quote: Undecim
                  Answer options. 1. Yes. 2. No.


                  Is it permissible to heat the oven with banknotes?
                  If there are enough banknotes - of course: the answer is 1- YES :)
                  1. Maki Avellevich
                    Maki Avellevich 6 November 2020 10: 18
                    0
                    Quote: Dmitry Vladimirovich
                    Is it permissible to heat the oven with banknotes?
                    If there are enough banknotes - of course: the answer is 1- YES :)

                    Dmitriy, your arguments make sense, but you seem to have a little bit of a horn.

                    today massive the production of polymer parts takes place and the volume is growing.
                    at a loss, no one prints the details, bydt.

                    as an artist to an artist, I will allow myself to assert that in the near future the printing of details will give a light to the casting of these.
                    ps I earn my bread by casting plastic.
                    1. Dmitry V.
                      Dmitry V. 6 November 2020 10: 30
                      +1
                      Then you have a good idea of ​​the cost of parts made by these methods.
                  2. Undecim
                    Undecim 6 November 2020 10: 22
                    +1
                    How difficult it is sometimes to admit your mistake. What has the banknote to do with it?
                    I hope you are familiar with the concept of economic efficiency?
                    1. Dmitry V.
                      Dmitry V. 6 November 2020 11: 15
                      +2
                      Quote: Undecim
                      How difficult it is sometimes to admit your mistake.


                      You gave piece examples the share of 3D printing - hardly 0,001% of the production of plastic parts to 99,999% produced by traditional methods. in metalworking and even less.

                      Manufacturing using 3D printing allows you to avoid some shape constraints, which would be difficult to manufacture in a traditional way, or allows you to reduce assembly operations by combining several parts in one design (if possible).

                      Not only do the plastics themselves have a lot of limitations (hygroscopicity, shelf life, etc.), but also the demand for them in the Russian Federation at the rudimentary level - in general, the scale is negligible - is not interesting.
                      And yes - I have a good idea of ​​what I'm talking about - 4 years ago I calculated a project to open a plastic molding line for 3D prints in the Russian Federation. He studied existing production facilities in Russia, Europe, the USA and China, Taiwan, manufacturers of plastic components and equipment, and .... no mass consumption - no factories that would consume tons of plastics - only retail sales to various 3D printing enthusiasts and fanatics. The most "mass" production in the Russian Federation is limited to a dozen printers and a hundred kg per month. That is, the demand for raw materials for 3D printers in the Russian Federation is negligible - several hundred kg per month. That is, a container with 30 tons of plastic will be sold out for half a year in the most optimistic scenario, but rather longer.
                      About nothing at all!
                      So guys - even though you are enthusiasts, at this stage there is no mass production on 3D printers in Russia. In other countries - a little better, but not significantly. No consumption of thousands of tons of plastics for 3D printers - no!

                      When dozens of petrochemical plants produce hundreds of thousands of tons of traditional plastic materials using traditional technologies:
                      Nizhnekamskneftekhim 600 tons of ethylene, by 000 2027 million tons.
                      ZapSibNeftekhim 115 thousand tons of polypropylene and 259 thousand tons of polyethylene per quarter
                      - where are the plastics for 3D? They are absent and nobody counts on them, they are of interest to etusiasts and rare producers, because the demand for them is scanty in the scale of consumption of ABS, PLA, HIPS, FLEX, etc. - on a global scale - several hundred tons.

                      Yes - some technologies are interesting but disproportionately expensive, yes - there are examples of attempts at mass production (if you can call this scaling due to equipment).
                      Yes - some parts can be designed for 3D production cheaper and relatively mass produced.
                      But there is still a long way to mass production - it is enough to know the market for traditional polymers and plastics for 3D printing.
                      1. Undecim
                        Undecim 6 November 2020 12: 29
                        +1
                        I mentioned somewhere in the comments of the RF?
                      2. Ua3qhp
                        Ua3qhp 6 November 2020 19: 12
                        0
                        Quote: Dmitry Vladimirovich
                        And yes - I have a good idea of ​​what I'm talking about - 4 years ago I calculated a project to open a plastic molding line for 3D prints in the Russian Federation.

                        Lost the time, 3D printers are getting cheaper. Aliexpress has the cheapest semi-toy but working 3D printer about 8 thousand rubles.
  7. Rusticolus
    Rusticolus 4 November 2020 14: 47
    +1
    How soon engineers and designers will come to printing a full-fledged model on 3D - 5D printers is not yet clear. However, in the near future such an innovation will not be used en masse, but all the prerequisites for this already exist.
    I think they will come to approximately 3D-12D. smile
  8. dgonni
    dgonni 4 November 2020 18: 22
    +4
    Smiled at the author (The smallest mechanisms of this weapon are located in a separate trigger assembly.). Maybe a trigger?
  9. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 5 November 2020 00: 33
    +1
    Quote: DWG1905
    The article is not about anything

    That's it!
    The author seized on a topic that was fashionable 2-3 years ago.
    Superficial and dull article.
  10. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 11 November 2020 09: 24
    0
    Print the shutter of Baryshev's "mechanical laser". On an industrial scale. This will be a breakthrough! Nothing interesting yet.