Shoot Me In The Legs!: The First 3-D Printed Metal Gun
This is the stainless steel handgun that was 3-D printed by the folks at Solid Concepts in Texas (where else?) using a direct metal laser sinistering (DMLS) technique. Impressive. Not impressive enough for me to want to fire, but I've never had a gun explode up in my hands before and I have no interest in starting now. Per Wikipedia article about DMLS:
The DMLS machine uses a high-powered 200 watt Yb-fiber optic laser. Inside the build chamber area, there is a material dispensing platform and a build platform along with a recoater blade used to move new powder over the build platform. The technology fuses metal powder into a solid part by melting it locally using the focused laser beam. Parts are built up additively layer by layer, typically using layers 20 micrometres thick. This process allows for highly complex geometries to be created directly from the 3D CAD data, fully automatically, in hours and without any tooling. DMLS is a net-shape process, producing parts with high accuracy and detail resolution, good surface quality and excellent mechanical properties.
Apparently both the cost of materials and the amount of electricity used during the process are astronomical, so don't expect some militia to be printing their own weapon stockpile anytime soon. You know what you can expect though? "You drunk by 4PM?" Besides that. "You not answering my calls?" I told you to only text anyways. Controversy -- the answer you were looking for was controversy.
Hit the jump for a video of the developers talking about the thing plus some test firing.
Thanks to neolardo and Jen, who have already started 3-D printing bulletproof vests.