Details are slim, but over on The Gun Collective’s Facebook page they’ve leaked a photo and some info on the DDWAVE. Apparently this .30 cal suppressor from Daniel Defense is rated for up to .300 Win Mag and is 3D-printed from Inconel. That probably means it’s direct metal laser sintered, a form of additive manufacturing allowing for unique internal designs that just wouldn’t be possible via traditional machining or casting. MSRP is estimated at $1,147.
DD wouldn’t be the first to DMLS a firearm suppressor, and I’m positive they won’t be the last. Is this the way of the future? Hopefully we can find out more at the NRA Annual Meetings this weekend.
EDIT: a trademark filing backs up the legitimacy of this leaked info.
I’ll have to stick with the $6 Fram, for now.
I hear the NAPA gold line is full auto rated
Congress needs to get off their ass and change the law.I have been waiting 10 months for mine,The ATF is dragging ass on permits.Whenthe laws change the prices should come down.
No way in hell would I use a DMLS pressure vessel with current tech. A .300 Win Mag + no discernable grain structure and a lack of work-hardening = fancy hand grenade conveniently located at face height. Hooray!
Eh. Lack of a discernible macroscopic grain structure isn’t in itself a show-stopper. If it’s actually a metallic glass (which I tend to doubt) it could be quite strong. For this type of additive manufacturing, I worry more about the bond between adjacent layers of the material, especially for a highly refractory material like Inconel.
Inconel is suited for this application in that the finished product is one homogeneous chunk of metal. It’s not a bunch of particles fused together like first generation 3d metal printers. The particles are melted together at the molecular lever like a piece of steel bar stock.
This is the wave of the future. Prices are falling and the technology is advancing quickly. The main drawback right now is speed. It probably took several hours to print one suppressor in a machine that cost a high 5 figures of not low 6 to buy.
._. When stuff melts, it is always at the molecular level…
But time, temperature, and pressure will determine its grain structure and how it age-hardens and/or forms oxides. Inconel and Stellite are great stuff (except for machining) but they have their limits and being very refractive makes the melting/sintering process difficult to apply uniformly.
Much can be accomplished if they are using a high temperature heated bed, and using proper heat treatment afterwards.
True, but a high-temp environment can result in laser losing efficiency, beam dispersion, or even diffraction in the atmosphere. These are challenges DMLS has yet to overcome for certain applications. DMLS has a lot going for it, I just wouldn’t bet the farm on a suppressor made using the process yet.
Daniel Defense is betting the farm on that thing. If it blows up in someone’s face in a plaintiff friendly state, … well, faces are expensive. But to your point, I’m not going to early adopt this.
try high 6 to low 7 figures
metal 3D printing is extraordinarily expensive
This tech has been around going on 20 years, and it can be extraordinarily strong. Delta P runs their DMLS cans full-auto on stubby barrels that most traditional suppressors cannot safely handle, and theirs are unusually large in diameter, too (an increase in tube diameter greatly reduces burst strength, all else being equal). The manufacturing process seems to be slow and expensive, but from what I’ve seen I don’t doubt the strength of DMLS Inconel or titanium parts at all. There have been a couple of DMLS muzzle brakes available for a few years, too. As JDS stated, the end result is apparently one completely homogeneous piece of metal.
After having used DMLS for several years in AE (my field) I still do not trust it to bear expansive/explosive force. As a muzzle device with a discernable (and quickly dissipating) pressure wave pattern, sure, given the right specs for the job. For a can? No, not yet, at least. It may work just fine for the stresses and heat of full-auto out of stubby barrels when made to obese proportions, but that isn’t viable for a normal “production profile” can. Besides, I always try to idiot-proof my work as much as possible. Especially if I were to build a can, as every bubba feels that adding non-compressing fluids or ablative material is A-OK for any suppressor.
My biggest issue, as the first reply to my post said, is in the “layers” adhering together. Regardless of claims about DMLS created a homogeneous structure, it really is not. Not at the current manufacturing speeds at least. Too much heat dissipation in the given time frame for it to be ‘homogeneous’ in my book. And for me, grain structure is a *huge* (or YYYUGE if you prefer) part of the picture, especially in high-nickel alloys. If we can’t make it a single crystal, then the fewer the better in high-impulse and high-hest applications. DMLS is great for creating fine grain structures (good for muzzle devices) or even small samples of amorphous solids, but these are not what I would want in a suppressor. Some plasticity is good for absorbing jarring stresses, but too much or none at all is how things bulge or blow-up (respectively). DMLS has come a long away, but not far enough for me to trust it as a supressor material.
“After having used DMLS for several years in AE (my field) I still do not trust it to bear expansive/explosive force.”
You need to contact SpaceX with these concerns.
The combustion chamber of their 16,000 pound thrust SuperDraco thruster for the Dragon spacecraft is DMLS printed from Inconel. SpaceX will be using 8 of those thrusters for a total of 120,000 pounds of thrust to land the Dragon capsule without parachutes.
I really doubt NASA would man-rate that spacecraft if they had any concerns with the manufacturing method.
The best news is key patents for DMLS expire later this year. The cost of those machines will start to plummet…
EDIT – The patents have expired:
“Cheap Laser-Sintering Printers Are Coming Thanks To The Expiration Of A Key Patent”
I’ve previously worked in the oil industry where DMLS inconel parts were being used down hole, that’s a pretty extreme environment.
Suppressor =/= combustion chamber. Not even in principle, having worked on both. The force impulses, durations, stresses, temperatures gradients, and environments are worlds apart. Scale is where materials engineering and AE diverge (much like the difference between physics and quantum physics). Given the proper scale, you can force a large enough amount of material A to do the task of a smaller amount of material B for a given scenario. I’m not trashing Inconel or DMLS. I’m just noting that the manufacturing tech is not there for this scale of a product/application. Manufacturing methods can make a tremendous difference in material traits and yield strengths. Look at the differences between milled, forged, and cast 7075 Al lowers!
If you feel confident paying a buttload of money to risk life and limb, go for it. I’ll stick with machined Stellite baffles for the time being.
” I’m not trashing Inconel or DMLS. I’m just noting that the manufacturing tech is not there for this scale of a product/application.”
Can you point to any examples of suppressor failures that were fabricated via Inconel DMLS?
Nope, but that’s because I know of no examples of production suppressors, that are of “normal” commercial dimensions, that are made of DMLS Inconel. The material hasn’t been appropriate for the application, yet.
Besides, that’s an absurd question right now. Can you point to any examples of suppressors made from wood or polystyrene that have failed? Or how about Zamak or a big ‘ol hunk of pig iron? No, because the materials are inappropriate for the task. Well, without creating the extreme product dimensions to make it work, that is. I, for one, think a vintage wood and brass suppressor would be pretty spiffy (if not gigantic) for a steam-punky lever action.
Look, if you want one so bad, by all means drop the coin for one. I will not be an early adopter of this tech.
I’m ignorant about this kind of metallurgy. Is there some post-printing heat treatment / annealing to make it less likely to fail?
Initial price is astronomical but the cost of 3D printing of all types has been dropping steadily even as the capabilities of the hardware and software have been improving.
No surprise on the cost, Inconel is used for high temperature jet engine fan disks and other parts.
I’ve also seen it in some nicer in ground water filtration units for whole villages or townships. It is very interesting to weld. Not necessarily difficult or at least not the more simple stuff I did, but interesting is about what I’d say.
I wonder how a cryogenic treatment would affect a DMLS part?