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第一支完全3D打印枪支问世

Matt Vella 2013年05月08日

美国德州的非盈利组织Defense Distributed日前公布了一组图片,称它已经生产出了世界上第一支完全采用3D打印技术制造的枪支。据报道,枪支设计者还打算最终在网络上发布图纸以及这支手枪的详细操作方法,让人们在自己家里就可以自行“打印”这支手枪。

    3D打印机术有很多光明前景,其中包括打印复杂的原型产品、款式独一无二的珠宝,甚至是打印人体组织。不过现在,有一个组织又发现了3D打印的另一用途,那就是制造枪支。

    德克萨斯州非盈利组织Defense Distributed是由一名年仅25岁的德州大学法律系学生科迪•威尔森创办的。该组织近日给《福布斯》杂志的网站Forbes.com提供了一些图片,声称图片中的枪支就是世界上第一支完全采用3D打印技术造出的手枪。这个组织还表示,这支手枪可发射标准的手枪子弹。这支手枪的名字叫“解放者”(Liberator),它的主体部分完全是用塑料制造的,只有撞针是金属。另外,枪里还装了一块6盎司的铁片,目的是为了让这支枪能够被金属探测器探测出来。

    去年,威尔森宣布打算利用3D打印技术制造一支枪的时候,他的大胆计划就吸引了大量关注。这个组织大概花了8个月的时间设计出了“解放者”。

    3D打印技术也叫叠加制造技术,它是一种可以通过电脑模型制作出三维实物的技术。简单来说,3D打印机通过连续不断地叠加塑料材料,几乎可以塑造出任何形状的物体。3D打印机也可以制造出具有连锁机制的零部件,比如齿轮和接榫等。这个过程与传统加工方法存在显著的区别,后者通常是通过对大块材料进行切割或雕塑来加工复杂的零件。

    据波士顿Luxe Research研究公司预测,到2025年,3D打印市场的市值将从现在的7.77亿美元猛增到84亿美元。其中大多数增长是由商业应用驱动的,尤其是在医药、汽车和航空领域。

    The many promises of 3D-printing include intricate product prototypes, one-of-a-kind jewelry, even human tissue. Now, a group has revealed a proof-of-concept of another sort: a gun.

    Texas-based Defense Distributed, founded by 25-year-old University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, has given Forbes.com images it says show the first 3D-printed handgun. The group, which is aiming for nonprofit status, claims the weapon can fire standard handgun rounds. The majority of the device, called the "Liberator," is fabricated entirely out of plastic, save for a nail used as a firing pin as well as a six-ounce piece of steel, intended to allow the gun to be detected by metal detectors.

    Wilson generated headlines last year when he announced his plans to produce a 3D-printed gun. It took the group about eight months to design the Liberator.

    Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a method of making a three-dimensional solid objects from a computerized model. Commonly, 3D printers lay down successive layers of plastic material to create objects of virtually any shape. The printers can also create interlocking mechanical parts, such as gears and cogs. The process is distinct from traditional machining, in which objects are whittled or sculpted down from larger blocks of material.

    Boston-based Luxe Research estimates that the $777 million 3D printing market will grow to a whopping $8.4 billion by 2025. Most of that growth will be driven by industrial applications, particularly in medical, automotive and aerospace industries.

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