Sciencesciencemilitaryhardware

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 10:58 AM

The Army has 3D printed a working 40mm grenade launcher they call Rambo

http://www.guns.com/2017/03/08/the-army-has-3d-printed-a-working-40mm-grenade-launcher-they-call-rambo-photos/



RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance) was made on a 3D printer after a six-month effort — and has even fired 3D printed grenades to prove it works. Produced in a joint collaboration between the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, the U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program and America Makes, the group used additive manufacturing techniques to craft a direct copy of the M203A1 40mm grenade launcher commonly mounted under the M16/M4 series rifles. Every part of the weapon, save for the springs and some fasteners, was sintered in aluminum or printed in 4340 alloy steel in 35 hours of production.


(RAMBO, top, and the standard M203A1, bottom)

So what do you fire from a 3D printed bloop gun? 3D printed grenades, that’s what. While the M781 low-velocity 40mm training grenade uses a zinc case which they couldn’t print, the team tried 3D printing grenade bodies in aluminum and steel then settled on using a wax printer to make a mold they could pour molten zinc into to cast the projectile bodies.


(The team tried several different printed versions of the M781 grenade)

The neat thing is that the process actually cost, “tens of thousands of dollars less than identical components created with standard production methods.” But does it work?

Well, they shot RAMBO 15 times and found the “test shots did not produce any signs of degradation, and the rounds’ muzzle velocities were within 5% of the velocities achieved by standard launchers.” A standalone kit complete with a printed adjustable buttstock, mounts, and other modifications to include an angled forward grip was printed after consulting paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division who looked at the prototype– another rapidly applied lesson translated to production of the finished launcher.

3 replies, 366 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Army has 3D printed a working 40mm grenade launcher they call Rambo (Original post)
Juan Rico Mar 2017 OP
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #1
Juan Rico Mar 2017 #2
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #3

Response to Juan Rico (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:01 PM

1. Cool

And this is why any efforts whatsoever to register and track weapons is pointless.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:05 PM

2. Exactly. How long until 3-D metal printing is affordable? Ten years? Five?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Juan Rico (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:16 PM

3. Well there is already metal embedded PLA plastic



Then there is this, which is the future of 3d printing

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Sciencesciencemilitaryhardware