3D Printing is not about to put Magpul out of business

    Over the weekend I asked if any readers with a 3D printer could try printing the AR-15 magazine I linked to a couple of week ago. A few readers emailed me to say they would attempt to print the magazine. Donald of AE Innovations, was the first reader to respond with photos of a printer magazine is Donald. His attempt was less than successful.

    Donald says …

    1. 3D printing at home is fiddly. It is also slow. Printing the magazine components in total took hours. They need some cleaning up afterwards, too. They do not come out looking as clean as in that fellow’s pictures.

    2. My print (I did only one attempt so far) I would consider a failure because when I printed the parts – using molten ABS – I neglected to account for the shrinkage of ABS (it shrinks about 2%) so it wound up being too short on the inside for the cartridges. It will probably feed only one round as is! The rounds do not physically fit inside the magazine body as it turned out (due to shrinkage, I think.)

    3. The designer leaves some key stuff out of the design, like the spring. I don’t know why he doesn’t share the spring design he made, but he doesn’t. I had to design a quick one myself to print out. The spring is a pretty critical component in a magazine, so “that looks about close enough” is not the best approach to making one. I doubt mine would reliably work (assuming my magazine printed properly next time.)

    Looks like we will not be printing P-Mags anytime soon 😉

    [ Many thanks to Donald and all the other readers who responded. ]

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!