The Russian military is making extensive use of 3D printing for military equipment like drones, tanks, arms, and more. The Russian Fund for Perspective Research has 3D printed bullets that perform in the same fashion as the conventional ones. The 3D printed bullets are their latest experiment in this technology.
Laser sintering was used to create the 3D printed bullets. Powdered metal was fused layer by layer to create a bullet which was durable and resilient as the traditional bullets. It is practically difficult to produce small metal components using 3D printing. But if designs and molds are predetermined, multiple pieces could be manufactured together making the production process plausible.
The Russian Fund for perspective Research tested the 3D printed bullets in association with the JSC Tsniitochmash, a center for research. The successful tests, which revealed that these bullets performed as competently as the other ammunition, the researchers will now use the laser sintering technology to develop ammunition for military purposes.
The Russian 3D printing research is using the 3D printed technology for ammunition and weaponry at a very aggressive pace. Kalashnikov Concern, is a renowned arms manufacturer and the creator of the internationally exported AK-47 assault rifle. This February, he suggested the use of additive manufacturing technology to create a new assault rifle. Russian metals company Stankoprom was hired by Kalashnikov Concern to create 3D printed metal parts for the rifle.
3D printing technology seems to be emerging majorly for the use of military equipment in Russia. The defense sector would be using the largest area of additive manufacturing research. 3D printed weaponry is deemed illegal as it could pose a major threat to the country’s security. People could well start printing arms and ammunition at home with the help of a 3D printer. The online distribution of 3D printed gun designs also remains illegal.