Posts Tagged Technology

Technology: The World’s First 3D Printed Metal Gun, By Solid Concepts

Well, it’s nice to be back home and I plan on doing some catching up with the blog. So expect a few older stories to pop up mixed with the new. And my first post is about 3D printed weapons.

The area of 3D printed weapons is of interest to me for several reasons. First, it would be a disruptive technology that would take the construction of weapons to a new level of production and innovation.  To be able to dream it up, write up the program for it, and print it out at your local 3D printing shop or at your home printing shop is taking hobby gun manufacturing to the next level. Gun manufacturers take note…

The second reason why this is interesting to me is the legal aspects.  Today’s laws throughout the world have not caught up with the advent of 3D printed weapons.  This of course will create all sorts of controversy and debate, but until the laws do catch up, lots of folks will be experimenting and taking advantage of the concept. Just check out this quote by Solid Concepts:

“We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts. “And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

The third reason why this interests me is how this would impact the global arms industry?  Will revolutions of the future be fought with printed AK-47′s or whatever weapon systems needed? Just look at Syria and the massive DIY effort there to arm themselves?

Will private military and security companies deploy with 3D printing plants and print weapons for contracts, or offer printed weapons to other companies in war zones as a means of fulfilling contracts? Or print out weapons for countries that are raising an army, and having a difficult time obtaining weapons due to embargoes or blockades.

Worse yet, terrorists and criminals will use this technology to create weapons as needed. Weapons with no history or serial numbers to trace, and made cheaply. In the future, forensics will be about figuring out what machine was used to make the things.

And will the arms industry be challenged by this disruptive technology and lash out, or embrace it and try to find where it fits into the whole thing. Who knows and there are many implications that come with this developing technology…. -Matt

 

3D Printed Metal 1911 Pistol

 

World’s First 3D Printed Metal Gun Manufactured by Solid Concepts
November 8, 2013
Solid Concepts, a world leader in 3D Printing services, manufactures the world’s first 3D Printed Metal Gun.
Austin, TX – Solid Concepts, one of the world leaders in 3D Printing services, has manufactured the world’s first 3D Printed Metal Gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. The gun, a 1911 classic design, functions beautifully and has already handled 50 rounds of successful firing. It is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip. The successful production and functionality of the 1911 3D Printed metal gun proves the viability of 3D Printing for commercial applications.
“We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts. “And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”
The metal laser sintering process Solid Concepts used to manufacture the 30+ gun components is one of the most accurate additive manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the interchangeable and interfacing parts within the 1911 series gun. The gun proves the tight tolerances laser sintering can meet. Plus, 3D Printed Metal has less porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. The 3D Printed gun barrel sees chamber pressures above 20,000 psi every time it is fired. Solid Concepts chose to build the 1911 because the design is public domain.
“The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy and usability of metal 3D Printing as functional prototypes and end use products,” says Firestone. “It’s a common misconception that 3D Printing isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.”
The 3D Printed metal gun proves that 3D Printing isn’t just making trinkets and Yoda heads. The gun manufactured by Solid Concepts debunks the idea that 3D Printing isn’t a viable solution or isn’t ready for mainstream manufacturing. With the right materials and a company that knows how to best program and maintain their machines, 3D printing is accurate, powerful and here to stay.

About Solid Concepts
Solid Concepts provides rapid prototyping and custom manufacturing services, with capabilities in PolyJet, Stereolithography (SLA), 3D Color Prints, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3D Metal Printing, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), CNC models and patterns, Composites, and QuantumCast™ advanced cast urethanes. Capabilities in tooling and injection molding make Solid Concepts a single source for product development and production efforts from conception to market. Visit www.solidconcepts.com to find your solution.
Link here.

Blog link here.

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Mobile Apps: The Tactical Radio Mobile App?

This is one of those posts where I thought, why hasn’t anyone in the tactical industry or law enforcement industry developed a mobile app that can convert your smart phone into a 2 way radio? Because according to this article, private industry has already created three mobile apps that turn your phone into a basic 2 way radio.

So for this post, the idea is basic. Create a similar 2 way radio mobile app, but ‘tactify’ it. lol Get it encrypted and secure, and give it functions that would be applicable to military/police/contractor uses. Or just have basic switches on the mobile app that allow a user to customize the app to suite their needs.

The top mobile app for turning your smart phone into a basic 2 way radio according to this article below is Voxer Walkie-Talkie. If you would like to play around with it, and maybe use it for hunting or none tactical purposes, here is a link to check it out. Here it is on iTunes, and below is the description of what it does.

Description
Featured by Apple in 50+ countries
Turn your phone into a Walkie Talkie.
Don’t waste time on phone calls and voicemails.
Voxer® is a Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Send instant Audio, Text, Photo and Location messages to one friend or a group of your friends. Your friends can listen to your message while you talk or check it out later.
-LIVE WALKIE TALKIE
-Cross Platform Messenger
-VOICE, TEXT, PHOTOS and LOCATION
-GROUP CHATS
-EVERYTHING is FREE
-No annoying advertisements
-Works over WiFi, 3G and any other data network
-Get notifications for new messages
-Create messages even offline
-Play voice messages faster
-Connect with Facebook friends on Voxer
Voxer turns your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch device into the ultimate Push To Talk (PTT) real-time Walkie Talkie.

The other thing I was thinking about with a Tactical Radio Mobile App is that companies could save money by not having to buy expensive handheld two way radios. They could just depend upon an internet connection locally or 3G/data networks, and have a team work off of that. So instead of depending upon a repeater, you are depending upon a diversified array of ‘repeaters’. Or you could have this as your back up to your pre-existing communications system.

Another angle is to create a Garmin Rhino style mobile app. Something that turns your smart phone into a basic Garmin Rhino, complete with blue force tracker style capability and two way radio functionality.

On the downside would be battery life. So along with the mobile app, you would probably have to get hardened cases with extra battery juice installed, to further extend the radio’s life and durability through a shift. Although I think the market has plenty of sources for this type of thing. I would think a power source that would give your phone enough juice to last a 12 hour shift would be acceptable. Rechargeable would be necessary as well. Pretty neat and I hope someone out there is able to take this idea and run with it. Maybe do a kickstarter for it? -Matt

 

 

Smartphone? Presto! 2-Way Radio
By DAVID POGUE
September 5, 2012
Cave drawings, smoke signals, letters, Pony Express, telegrams, phone calls, text messages. From the dawn of civilization, man has experimented with different modes of communication, each with pros and cons. Smoke signals, for example, contribute to far fewer car accidents than text messages. Text messages, on the other hand, leave much less soot.
You might think that we’ve exhausted every variation on electronic communication — text, audio, video — but you’d be wrong. A new one is quietly winning over millions of gadget fans. They’re free apps with names like Voxer, HeyTell and Zello, and they really do mess with the rules of the game.
Nobody’s settled on a good name for this communications category. But if we call them voice-texting apps, or walkie-talkie apps, you’ll get the idea.
They work on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Android phones and Windows phones. You open the app, tap someone’s name, hold down the big Talk button and speak. A second after you start talking — yes, even before you’re finished — your voice bursts to life, extremely clearly, on your friend’s phone, wherever it may be in the world.
Your buddy can respond to you by pressing his own Talk button, and the conversation is under way.
Now, before you roll your eyes — “These youngsters today! Why do they need so many different ways to talk!?” — consider all the ways these apps improve on existing modes of chat.

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Cool Stuff: Tandem-Duct Aerial Demonstration By Aerofex Corporation

Imagine personal flight as intuitive as riding a bike. Or transporting a small fleet of first-responder craft in the belly of a passenger transport. Think of the advantages of patrolling borders without first constructing roads.
In pursuit of this vision, Aerofex is flying a proof-of-concept craft developed as a test-bed of manned and unmanned technologies. -Aerofex Corp.

This is just neat. But what I was thinking about after watching this, is the military application if this technology actually becomes refined and durable. IED’s are designed to explode when you drive over them–or pressure detonated. Or they are remotely detonated or triggered by a physical trip wire in the form of  a wire or beam.  With a vehicle like this, you could set the hover height to be well above vehicle height, and have nothing touching the ground in order to avoid the pressure plates.

A vehicle like this would be nice for areas that do not have roads, or the roads are hindered and muddied due to weather. The key advantage here is getting the vehicle off of the ground.

The other thing to note is that this vehicle is really more a test platform for the concept of Tandem-Duct propulsion. The company’s paper on what makes it work is sold here. Interesting stuff and check it out. -Matt

 

 

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Gear Review: The Surefire P2X Fury–The 500 Lumen Compact Flashlight!

Now this is an awesome little light or should I say ‘spot light’. lol At first I couldn’t believe the thing could actually put out 500 lumens worth of light, but it does. What is also nice is that you can switch it to the 15 lumens setting to extend the life of your batteries. Then switch it to the high output setting when you need some serious illumination.

This particular light also fits in Surefire’s Polymer Speed Holster, but only on the handle portion. The bezel is too wide for it to be inserted that way. So for that, I would contact some of the custom kydex folks out there and maybe have them produce something that will fit this light.  You can also use the nylon holster they sell. (The package this light comes in does not have a holster)

If you want a good price on this thing, I saw it for sale on Amazon for as low as 108 dollars, and I have put it in the Jundi Gear locker if you ever want to find it. Or you can follow the link below and explore all of the options of buying it, because it is sold at several places on Amazon. Also check out Surefire’s website for any goodies that come with this thing.

Another great feature of this light is it’s size.  It is just amazing how much power they have put in such a small package, and this light is a great light for security work.

The width of the light is the standard Surefire size, and you can buy any number of weapons light mounts that accept the other Surefire lights. I personally like the Viking Tactics weapons light mount, but I am sure there are others out there you can go with that will work just the same. Either way check this thing out and watch the video below if you want a good idea as to what this light can do. -Matt

Buy the light here.

 

 

Specifications
Output / Runtime — White Light
High 500 .0 lumens / 1.5 hours*
Low 15 .0 lumens / 46.0 hours
Tactical Runtime* 1 .5 hours
Length 5 .40 inches
Bezel Diameter 1 .37 inches
Weight w/Batteries 5 .7 ounces
Batteries 2 123A (included)
*Runtime (at highest setting for multiple-output flashlights) until output drops below 50 lumens
Description
P2X-B-BK
The P2X Fury uses a high-efficiency, virtually failure-proof LED to deliver your choice of either 15 or 500 lumens of perfectly focused light, the latter qualifying the Fury as a pocket-sized searchlight. The 15-lumen level is excellent for general work at close-to-medium distances, and also lets you greatly extend the runtime per set of batteries, a valuable option when you’re miles from civilization.

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Technology: Thermal Matrix ACT 2

Wow, this is some cool technology. Thermal cameras are not new, but it’s still technology that is being played around with by various vendors and modified to be useful. I like this system because it gives you the ability to scan folks from a distance and it is very sensitive and tuned in for this specific task of finding things on people. That is great for Entry Control Points in war zones, where doing a preliminary screen of individuals before they enter your search area or holding area is essential.

I mentioned the Taliban’s efforts to attack contractors and others during this spring offensive, and tools like this could help to see what guys are hiding under their clothes. Things like pistols in their shoes or suicide vests/weapons could be detected from a distance with this camera system. I emphasize ‘from a distance’, because this gives you more time for your OODA.

You could also use this to scan high traffic areas of cities, and identify those locals that are carrying weapons on their person. Once you find someone like that, and they are not soldiers or police, then that might be a person to watch and see where they go.

If you would like to investigate this system and see what it is all about, here is a link. -Matt

 

 

ACT
ACT System by Thermal MatrixThe ACT (Access Counter IED Technology) System by Thermal Matrix is a concealed object threat detection system, using sensors combined with sophisticated computer technology.

The system electronically analyzes situations and identifies multiple threats including explosives, concealed guns, knives and other weapons. In addition, ACT detects threats a metal detector cannot reveal. They include plastic, liquid, and gel explosives, weapons made with non-ferrous metals, and contraband including illegal drugs.

Because it is portable and easy to operate, the ACT System is ideal for both commercial applications as well as domestic law enforcement security. The system is lightweight, and only requires a single operator. The hardware consists of a thermal sensor mounted on a tripod, connected to a laptop computer. Altogether it weighs less than 20 pounds, and can be set-up and operational within 15 minutes
The ACT System is excellent for use in a number of situations, including: ACT System uses for Law Enforcement

Event Security

Check Points

Entry Control

Perimeter Security

Crowd Surveillance

Loss Prevention/Theft

The heart of the ACT System is exclusive Thermal Matrix software, which uses advanced algorithms to analyze the thermal signature of a scene. The software automatically detects subjects and isolates them from the background. Subjects are then tracked using target recognition software. Advanced filtering enhances the image of the subject, allowing for greater detection by the operator.

The software also employs touch-screen, Graphical User Interface (GUI) controls, so the operator can analyze a scene just like using a DVD player. The operator can easily pause, rewind, zoom-in, and enhance the picture using multiple filter

Much like a digital video recorder (DVR), the computer continuously records the most recent 10 minutes of every scene. When the operator finds something suspicious, one push of a button will automatically archive that scene on the hard drive.

The ACT System is the most advanced, portable, easy-to-use concealed object detection system in the security industry.

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Cool Stuff: A Swarm Of Nano Quadrotors

Now imagine each one of these quadrotors armed with a small explosive payload? Maybe even use their larger cousins that we saw being used in Libya. (imagine EFP’s mounted to the belly of a larger quadrotor?) Then use them ‘kamakazee style’ for a massive swarm attack or to support an ambush. In other words, it is research like this that is quickly making this stuff a reality. -Matt

 

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