3D printed guns are growing in popularity, and if you want to 3D print your own firearm or are looking to print some attachments for an existing one, you’ll want a 3D printer that’s up for the job.
Because gun parts need to be precise, strong, and look sleek, not just any 3D printer is good enough for printing gun parts.
First off, you’ll want an FDM 3D printer, as this printing technology works with relatively strong thermoplastic materials that are suitable for making firearm components and can withstand the vibrations that occur inside a gun when it fires a round. Other factors to consider include the material compatibility of the machine, print size, and overall print quality.
The Creality Ender 3 V2 is perhaps the best 3D printer for guns and related parts because it’s got a decently-large print bed that will allow you to print handgun lower receivers without splitting the model up. And the Ender V2 is very budget-friendly despite its excellent print quality.
And, for larger prints, like a lower receiver for a carbine gun, the Elegoo Neptune 3 Plus is the perfect choice. It’s got a massive build space, as well as a direct drive extruder that can even print flexible materials.
For more of the best 3D printers for guns, just keep reading!
Table of Contents
- Best 3D Printers for Lowers, Frames, & Mags At A Glance
- Considerations For 3D Printers For Guns
- What Filament Should I Use for Printing Guns?
- Gun Accessories That You Can 3D Print
- Can I Use a Resin Printer to Make Gun Parts?
Best 3D Printers for Lowers, Frames, & Mags At A Glance
Below, I’ve gone over some of the best 3D printers out there for printing gun parts, whether it’s a lower receiver or a magazine attachment.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 0.1mm | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU | Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm | Max Print Speed: 180 mm/s | Heated bed temperature: 110℃
The Creality Ender 3 V2 is easily the best 3D printer for guns if you plan on printing a few lower receivers for personal use and don’t want to drop a fortune on this hobby. The printer comes at an affordable, sub-$300 price and has a bunch of great features that make it great for printing guns.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 0.1mm | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU | Build Volume: 320 x 320 x 400 mm | Max Print Speed: 180 mm/s | Heated bed temperature: 100℃
If you’re looking to print parts a little bit larger than the typical lower receiver for a handgun, then the Elegoo Neptune 3 Plus is the one for you.
The printer, as indicated by the “Plus” in its name, has a HUGE print space, measuring 320 x 320 x 400 mm. That’s over a foot (for us Americans) in all directions! With this much space, you’ll be able to print any handgun lower receiver and even some of the larger receivers for carbine guns and other designs.
But the large print space on the Neptune 3 Plus isn’t nearly the only thing this machine has going for it. The print quality is also just spectacular.
I was one of the first people to try out this printer (check out my full review here), and I was blown away by the reliability and overall quality of its extrusion system. The Neptune 3 Plus has a well-built direct drive printhead that can print flexible filaments (e.g. TPU) with ease and does an even better job at printing normal filament materials like PLA, ABS, and PETG.
Plus, the manufacturer used a PEI print bed that makes achieving good bed adhesion a breeze, so using the printer won’t be hard. On this note, the printer is also equipped with a super-accurate automatic bed leveling system, so you don’t even have to spend time adjusting the position of the bed, which is always annoying, especially for people new to 3D printing.
And, in my opinion, the best part about the printer is that, despite its massive print space, it’s got a very fair price, costing well under $400. So, if you want to go big, then go with the Elegoo Neptune 3 Plus.
3D Printer Type: Delta FDM | Layer Resolution: 0.1mm | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG| Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 200 mm | Max Print Speed: 300 mm/s | Heated bed temperature: 110℃
Next, the Prusa i3 MK3S+ is a top-of-the-line 3D printer developed by the famous Josef Prusa. The printer is well-suited for 3D printing gun parts because it’s super precise and accurate, so the parts produced won’t fail when used in your gun.
The MK3S+ has a slightly smaller print space compared to the Ender 3 V2, measuring 210 x 210 x 250 mm. But, with these dimensions, you should still be able to fit a handgun lower receiver inside the print space without an issue.
But the main reason people choose the Prusa i3 MK3S+ is its overall printing performance. As I was saying earlier, the Prusa i3 MK3S+ is very precise and accurate, largely due to the use of high-end components in the printer’s assembly.
For example, the printer’s genuine E3D hot end and nozzle make filament extrusion super consistent, and the spring steel PEI print bed ensures that the bottom of prints is super smooth! Plus, the printer is equipped with many sensors that often go unnoticed but are a large contributor to the machine’s excellent printing performance.
The Prusa i3 MK3S+ can also print with many different filament materials, including PLA, PETG, and even TPU, due to the printer’s direct drive extruder configuration. And you can buy or DIY an enclosure for the printer to print with other high-strength filaments, like ABS, ASA, and even polycarbonate!
The main downside of the Prusa i3 MK3S+, though, is its price. The printer costs a pretty penny, and if you save money and go with the “kit” option, you’ll need to spend a few hours assembling the printer.
But if you have the dough and want a printer that will reliably pump out extremely-accurate parts for your guns, then the Prusa i3 MK3S+ is the perfect option!
3D Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 0.1mm | Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU| Build Volume: 280 x 260 x 310 mm| Max Print Speed: 150 mm/s | Heated bed temperature: 110℃
Lastly, the Sermoon D1 is another 3D printer from Creality, the maker of the Ender 3 V2. But, unlike the Ender 3 V2 and the other printers on this list, the Sermoon D1 is an enclosed printer. For reasons we’ll discuss later, this makes the Sermoon D1 great for printing strong models, which includes many gun parts.
Considerations For 3D Printers For Guns
When looking for a 3D printer that you will use to make gun parts, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
First, you should look at the available print size for the machine. The larger the print space, the larger the models you can make, allowing you to choose from a wider variety of gun parts to print.
While you won’t find a printer that’s large enough to print the entire lower receiver of a rifle-class weapon, you might be able to fit parts for a larger-size weapon, like a carbine gun.
The material compatibility of a 3D printer also matters a lot. The more filament materials you can print, the more options you have for what material to print your gun parts in.
What filament materials a certain 3D printer can handle is usually dependent on the temperature limits of the machine’s nozzle and print bed. But certain filament materials, like ABS and polycarbonate (PC), also require an enclosure for high-quality prints.
You wouldn’t want a 3D printer that could only make low-quality, weak, and ugly 3D prints. That’s why the print quality of a machine is super important.
While many factors, from the architecture of the motherboard to the precision of the nozzle hole, go into the print quality of a certain 3D printer, checking the reviews for the printer usually gives you a good idea of the quality of the machine.
Lastly, it’s important to consider the value of the 3D printer as you wouldn’t want to overpay for whatever 3D printer you purchase. I like to think of value as the feature per dollar on a 3D printer, and “high-value” 3D printers will be feature-heavy without costing a fortune.
What Filament Should I Use for Printing Guns?
A 3D print’s strength depends on many factors, and one of the most impactful ones is the filament material you use. You obviously want the parts in a 3D printed gun to be as durable and long-lasting as possible, so you should use a strong filament material. I’ve gone over some of the best options in the sections below.
PETG is easily my favorite material for 3D printing any gun parts. It’s a little bit more difficult to print than PLA but way easier to print than ABS and PC, and its strength is extremely impressive, making it the perfect middle-ground option.
The only thing you’ll have to note about PETG is that the material tends to string and over-adhere to the build plate on 3D printers. But a few adjustments to your slicer print settings should solve these issues!
Secondly, ABS is one of the most commonly-used plastics on Earth, used in everything from LEGOs to the interior of cars. ABS is also a 3D printable plastic and compared to many other thermoplastics, it’s decently strong, but it’s also very difficult to print. Moreover, printing ABS requires a good understanding of slicer settings as well as a printer with a high-temp hot end and an enclosure.
But if you can figure out how to print ABS well, then it’s perfect for printing gun parts. Furthermore, ABS is super inexpensive, typically costing under $20 for a 1-kilogram spool, and it’s more than strong enough to withstand the physical stresses of a gun firing rounds.
Next, Nylon is a thermoplastic polymer known for its strength, durability, and also its flexibility. Nylon plastic is often used to make gears, bearings, and other high-grade plastic mechanical parts, so it makes sense that it works great for printing gun parts.
Finally, polycarbonate, or PC for short, is easily the strongest 3D printable material available to consumers. PC filament is a bit more expensive than other filament materials, but it’s also super rigid and strong. A lower receiver (or any other gun part) printed with PC filament will last you forever and is similar in strength to even some metal parts!
But, if you want to print PC, you’ll have to put in more than a few extra bucks for a spool. Moreover, PC filament is extremely difficult to print, requiring a high-temp hot end, high-temp heated bed, enclosure, and an abrasion-resistant nozzle. And, even with all that hardware, you’ll have to spend hours fine-tuning your slicer profile to achieve decent-quality prints in this material.
Gun Accessories That You Can 3D Print
Besides the lower receiver of a gun, you can 3D print a handful of other components that you can use on your firearms. Below, I’ve gone over some of the most popular ones:
Holsters are a great way to keep your weapon (usually a handgun) on you at all times, and there are some 3D printable options out there. While you can’t 3D print the strap part of a holster, you can find 3D print the holding part of the holster, where your gun and extra magazines go.
There are many gun magazine accessories out there, and while you could buy them at a store or online, most of them can just be 3D printed. That’s right! Many mag accessories, like clip holders and other attachments/mounts, are just plain, injection-molded parts, so 3D printing them is super easy!
Whether you have a handgun or a rifle, the rail on your gun is a great place to add useful attachments. While you can’t 3D print certain attachments, like a flashlight or a scope, you can 3D print mounts that make third-party hardware compatible with your weapon. And some rail attachments, like certain mag holders, have no special features and can be 100% 3D printed.
Grips are an important part of any gun as they impact how you handle the gun. If you prefer a certain style of grip, you can 3D print grip attachments that you can add to your existing gun. Or you can modify the design of a 3D printable lower receiver to include your preferred grip design and then use that!
Next, to add an extra safety step to your gun, adding a trigger lock to your gun is a great idea. This model (linked above) fits around the trigger guard on most guns and will ensure that no one accidentally pulls the trigger and causes a tragic accident.
If you’re like me and have a bunch of ammo just waiting to be used, then you’ll want a good way to store it safely. And because many purchasable ammo storage boxes are just way over-priced, 3D printing your own ammo box makes a lot of sense. The model linked above is a great option!
Can I Use a Resin Printer to Make Gun Parts?
While it is technically possible to use a resin 3D printer to make gun parts, this type of printing technology (SLA and DLP) isn’t suitable for making strong parts. Moreover, resin prints are significantly weaker than parts made on an FDM 3D printer, largely because the resin materials available to consumers are a lot weaker than the filament materials for FDM machines.
And because you want the parts in your gun to be durable and long-lasting, printing them in resin wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
While you can 3D print guns legally, and it can be a lot of fun, not just any 3D printer will do.
Because guns expel a lot of vibrations, any part that goes on or inside your firearm must be strong enough to withstand these physical forces, meaning you’ll want a printer that works with high-strength filament materials. And 3D printed gun parts must also be precise and accurate enough to fit with the other gun components, so getting a printer with a high level of print quality also matters.
The Creality Ender 3 V2 is maybe the best 3D printer for guns and is a common pick for enthusiasts looking to 3D print parts for their guns. The printer is very budget-friendly, large enough to print the lower receiver for handguns, and is very upgradable, so you can modify it to print even more filament materials.
And, if you want to print larger gun parts, then you might be interested in the Elegoo Neptune 3 Plus. The printer has a humongous print space that can fit even the lower receiver for some carbine guns. And the printer has a super reliable extrusion system that won’t fail you!