It was only a matter of time, and yes, they just had to go there.
A company in Texas, named Solid Concepts, has created the world’s first metal gun using a 3D printer. The creation of weapons using the 3D printing technology is a contentious one. The technology offers so much in terms of life-saving capabilities in the medical field, and for personal use, but it also opens the door for that underbelly of any good technology. Just like the internet spawned a whole new manner of criminals, the fear is that unscrupulous elements could misuse the technology to create weapons that may be undetected by the usual metal-detecting devices. The reason is not far-fetched, 3D printing allows for the use of raw materials in an unusual way, to create unique weapons. Till now, most of the guns created using the 3D printing technology have been with other raw materials, such as plastic.
Solid Concepts created their version of a 3D-printed metal pistol based on the Browning 1911 firearm. They made the gun in a bid to prove such weapons can be made for real world applications. They used the direct metal laser sintering process, also known as DMSL, a 3D manufacturing process already used in the manufacture of metal parts for the medical and aeronautical industries.
The industrial printer used to create the gun is not your cheap desktop 3D printer, but a costly model, manned by experienced engineers who know exactly what they are doing.