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Additive Manufacturing Helps Oregon Firearms Industry Stay Innovative

With big game hunting season winding down in Oregon, it seems appropriate to give a nod to our friends in the firearms industry. Oregon has a long and rich history in firearm accessory manufacturing. Its premier manufacturers epitomize innovation and quality – think Warne Scope Mounts, Nosler, Leupold, and Grovtec. These companies were born from Northwest outdoorsmen’s desire for quality products with superior performance. They’ve become household names today because of their focus and commitment to innovation.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is helping Oregon’s firearm industry stay a step ahead of its competition. Complex designs that are expensive or even impossible to traditionally manufacture can be 3D printed in metal using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) offered by i3D MFG™ and other similar service bureaus. Custom part builds, rapid market launches, and small batch production are all cost effective mean of production using 3D manufacturing. Unlike previous 3D print technologies, DMLS does not use binding agents, therefore, parts near 100% density, and are comparable to machined and high quality cast parts. In fact, this past summer both the FBI and the USSOC commenced in firearms projects using DMLS.

Additive Manufacturing benefits for Firearms

Latticed geometries, conformal cooling lines, organic channels, and single part production of multiple part assemblies are common 3D design features. Since 3D manufacturing is a no-waste process, exotic metals offering superior strength and heat properties are cost effective. Titanium, Inconel, and Steel are the most widely produced DMLS metals in the firearms industry. Lead times with 3D printing allow firearm accessory manufacturers to reduce R&D and market launch to weeks or months compared to months and years. Multiple versions of a design can be 3D printed in the same build, allowing R&D version testing or custom production in days.

i3D™ is proud to be innovating along with Oregon’s industry leaders. Oregon’s proud tradition of recreational firearms and firearm accessory manufacturing will continue to grow and beat its competitive because of their forward thinking and adoption of next generation technology in product development. We hope all the hunters out there had a successful season!

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Additive Manufacturing for Firearms