Let us skip with the intro and get to the printing. Plenty of time to chat about details later in other parts.
After about 27 hours on the 3D printer, this block was pulled off the print bed:
I spent two hours today removing support material with some side cutters, a couple of pliers, and a scraper. It is starting to look more like the finished product, but there is still a long ways to go.
3D Printers add material in layers to build up an item. So you could print something shaped like the letter V with no problems because the layers support each other and you can have some amount of overhang of a previous layer. But a shape like the letter T would fail because it would be trying to print the top line of it in the air and the print would fail. To solve this problem we can add supports, additional material to provide a base for the final product to print on. Unfortunately, like in this case, those supports can be a pain in the ass to remove.
There is a still a large amount of support material in the mag well, and in the various holes in this trigger housing. It is going to take me a good while longer to get it cleaned up.
I’m not sure if I am going to try and finish this part first, or start working on the next. I’ll give you all some proper details and explanations later. But for now, I am really impressed with how rigid this part feels. The additional material along the top sides makes it feel far more rugged that some of the old cheap plastic AR15 lowers I have handled.