In the firearms community, 3D printing is a topic of hot conversation. Firearms enthusiasts frequently pitch the benefits of additive manufacturing, which allows firms both large and small to rapidly prototype new components and pieces, and bring them to market faster. Hobbyists have been watching the pricing of AM equipment fall, some hoping that they can one day print complete firearms at home. As the saying goes, they want to "be able to produce AR-15s at home using 3D printers they paid for in Bitcoin..."
While 2017 saw massive strides in metal 3D printing technology, 2018 has been shaping up to be the year metal 3D printing makes commercial breakthroughs, especially in the firearms sector. With the huge advantage presented by metal 3D printing in terms of strength and durability, the firearms world embracing this additive manufacturing technique is only natural. There have been a few success stories so far in this space, from suppressors to 1911-style pistols, and 2018 will undoubtedly see many more.