Introduction: 3D Printed 1911

Picture of 3D Printed 1911

First off, I'd like to thank Rio Benson for making the absolutely amazing drawings of the 1911 which can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: I will not be held responsible for any damage done with this model.

When I started this project, it was really just one of those things to see if it could be done. I did not use Rio's personal models; Instead I used his drawings and made my own. Internally, the gun doesn't function. The trigger doesn't even move. Externally, the model is completely accurate with the exception of the slide stop. The only moving parts are the safety lock, hammer, slide and barrel. I also had to change a few dimensions due to the 3D printer tolerance so if CNC'd; it may not work together as well. If you plan to 3D print it, then you will most likely have to use your own. I know that some companies that function like Shapeways are cracking down on the dangers of printing functioning firearms and may not allow you to print this file. If you do have the ability to print this, I Highly recommend using bright colors for the barrel or even the entire gun. While no laws in the US prohibit having this model on your persons, there are multiple instances of people (especially children) being shot by police for waving around fake realistic weapons. For those of you who think they cannot handle the responsibility or plan on giving this to someone who cannot handle it or just have no need for a complicated replica, I have supplied a slide without a moving barrel.

For reference, this was printed on a Dimension BST 1200es. I edited the dimensions specific for this type of modeling. No sanding is required on any of the pieces. I will be unable to complete the model the way I would like so the files I have completed are now available.

Step 1: Safer Slide

Picture of Safer Slide

Other than the fact there is no barrel altogether for this piece, it is exactly the same.

Step 2: Grips

Picture of Grips

Insert the "grip pegs" into each grip.  I recommend pushing the grip against a hard surface instead of pushing the peg into the grip.  This helps alleviate and disperse the stress on the plastic.  To attach the grips to the frame push the frame onto the grips.

Step 3: Closed Slide

Picture of Closed Slide

If using the closed slide option, assembly is as easy as sliding the slide on to the frame.

Step 4: Open Slide

Picture of Open Slide

For the open slide option; you should attach the barrel link before inserting the barrel into the slide.  Remember to use the "barrel link to barrel" piece [For this assembly step I used an earlier model to take pictures.  The barrel has been reinforced so it should no longer break in the barrel link area]  When inserting the barrel into the slide, the barrel will not go smoothly.  You will have to tap it in with a mallet.  [Don't fret though because the slide has been designed to take a lot of pressure in the front while the barrel has been thickened to prevent snapping.  I have taken multiple barrels in and out of one specific slide and have yet to break either one]   Attach the slide just like the closed version, except now you need to position the barrel link so it lines up with the hole on the frame.  Once they are aligned, press the frame onto the "barrel link to frame" peg.

On this particular piece, I made the grooves in the barrel and slide so this model could be used to help someone understand how they interact with each other.  Moving the slide forward will engage the lugs and prevent it from continuing off of the frame, same in reverse.  I personally did not know how this worked until I was half way done with the model 

Step 5: Hammer/Safety Lock

Picture of Hammer/Safety Lock

By now the assembly is quite self explanatory.  I recommend doing the hammer first but the holes allow any order.  I designed the safety lock to be a tight fit so it springs back up when pushed into the safe mode.  For this to work properly, you will need to insert it in the locked position. 

Step 6: Conclusion/Future Steps

Picture of Conclusion/Future Steps

That's it.  Don't do anything stupid with this.  

I currently have a .stl file of the magazine but its just a solid block and it has no real locking function.  Until i figure out what exactly I want to do with it I'm  going to keep it off.

Once I have the magazine figured out, I plan to make it so pulling back the slide will eject a plastic shell casing.  I already have some ideas of how to go about it but it's not really the top of my priority list. 

Stay tuned


RyanS62 (author)2017-09-27

i started printing it, and i noticed a few things

the barrel is 15ish mm longer so you can have an orange tip
i had issues where pins and such are extremely tight fit, also my printer is not calibrated 100% but a lot of sanding and everything fits snug and magazine drops nicely and is baby bottom smooth.
mag catch hits the side grip had to carve a small groove.
and magazine spring pops out when out of rounds i might print a stop for that. but it functions.

LauranceD2 (author)2017-09-14

its missing the parts that make the closed grip. its an assembly file and without the individual parts, im unable to access the ipt version of the gun

please update that if possible

RAWICE511 (author)2016-05-28

Please help all of the parts are really really small how do i fix this?

DigitalR3 (author)RAWICE5112017-08-15

Convert from inches to mm

DigitalR3 (author)2017-08-14

what a shame..i think this project is dead :(

DigitalR3 (author)2017-08-13

unprintable on any cheap 3d printer!

you need one of those big expensive ones:( BUT you did an amazing job on the making these models! can't wait for the bullet eject system or until the good 3d printers get under 700dollars so I can finally print this!!! :)

Rhetorical_Save (author)2014-06-04

... its cool but its a bad idea, its not traceable,cant be detected by metal detectors, plus its easy to dispose of after killing some one... so yeah don't do anything stupid with this

you know if someone made this thing shoot actual bullets

There is already 3D printed guns that can fire 22, all the way to 5.56, this would explode first shot....

No they haven't. If they did, it would require modifying the CAD files extensively, and adding a metal firing pin, and probably metal metal supports to hold the frame together.

GregA1 (author)chendrickson12014-09-08

And a Fused Deposition Manurfacturing filimint that is 100s of times better then any thing on the market. or a DMLS printer

You do know this gun dos not shoot real bullets, right?

Guys this is like two years old. Get over it.

I debated responding to this since this isn't really the place, but I can't allow ignorance of basic firearm principles and forensics to continue to be spread.

No firearm is 'traceable' in the way you mean. Serial numbers don't solve crimes, and forensics must link the bullet's markings with the rifling of the barrel to prove any particular weapon fired a specific bullet. There is no national gun registry, and dear God, may it always be so. Canada abandoned it's gun registry program after realizing it had helped them solve exactly 0 crimes. They don't work, period, end of story. They only serve to disarm the citizenry.

No working firearm has ever been created that can't be detected by a metal detector. Don't believe medial falsehoods on this point. Even the 3D printed Liberator gun can be detected by metal detectors. It has metal parts, and ... surprise ... bullets are metal. Advanced polymer technology may at some point change this fact, but right now it is literally impossible.

Your third point is moot, since it is, in fact, impossible unless you bludgeon someone to death with it. Also, all firearms can be melted down into pools of liquid metal at home. People just don't do it, and no it isn't hard or expensive.

The only thing stupid you can do with this print is try to pass it off as real. A threat that exists with literally every toy, pellet, bb, or airsoft gun on the planet.

GregA1 (author)chendrickson12014-09-08

WOOOOOW your totally totally wrong about the Canadian long gun registry.

We abolished it when we realized it was causing 100's of Crimes because it was designed and maintained by the same incompetent morons who obama hired to develop the obamacare website.


the Unidentifyed Firearms act.... Does not specify metal detection. It specifys that a firearm Must be detectable by the most state of the art equptment.

It was never intended as a ban non Non metal firearms as The alquida aligned arms dealing california state senator leanand yee tried to imply. It also Origionally blatantly Encouraged legality of metal free firearms should newer and more effective Measures of detecting firearms and other weapons.

also The liberator even With out metal parts is 100% detectable by X ray and backscatter scanners.

so legally according to the Spirit and letter of the original UFA the liberator is detectable.

Thanks for dispelling the Myths that surround 3d printed guns. It's frustrating watching the media go into a frenzy and making false claims etc, all because it sells stories. Seriously, after seeing the claims that they make, it makes you wonder if they know how things like shoelaces work.

... It's a model?

although...... if you were to make this a nerf gun or something... or like a spas-12 shot gun... welllll

sadiablo (author)2015-10-28

Has anyone figured out the scaling on this? Some parts are tiny and others are huge.

JeremyLee15 (author)2015-10-05

Hi, would like to check with anyone else if they are having trouble with the scale of the .STL files. Some parts are huge when opened in solidworks.

desmond77 (author)2015-08-16

but its awsome i am gonna make it

desmond77 (author)2015-08-16

is it too small

cheekymonkey812 (author)2015-06-13

or if I could type, ha. Thank you for sharing this!

cheekymonkey812 (author)2015-06-13

Outstanding work! Thank for sharing!

MontyFlange (author)2015-04-28

Nice one

kking43 (author)2015-02-26

would someone be willing to make a grip for a 1911 under 50$?

isnell (author)kking432015-03-17®-1911-grip-panels

Jensers made it! (author)2015-01-14

Thanks for posting the files - I made this - Replicator 2. Had some problems with the body of the gun warping near the front - I may try to print it again to see if that solves the problem. Also, the thumb safety is too large - it overlaps the grip and also the slide, and the barrel is too long - it sticks out the front of the slide 15mm. I only looked at the STL files and have not opened the Inventor files - So I may need to tweak them and print a few things again. Despite the minor issues, All - in - all it is pretty sweet.

Jensers (author)Jensers2015-01-14

By the way - Why print this? #1 - I like 1911's - iconic firearm. #2 - for use as a training gun for firearm safety training (which I do). You can buy solid plastic versions of most popular firearms for that purpose, but now I can print my own… Bonus.

경나 made it! (author)2015-01-03


CGBR (author)2014-11-18

What do the dimensions of the 3d printing surface have to be? My printer is only 200mm square, Is that big enough?

Vininski (author)2014-10-22

Hey fantastic model, this is just what I've been looking for since plastic toy replicas and even the full metal replicas are far to fragile (and expensive!) for filmmaking purposes. Hard to believe it's literally cheaper for me to buy a 3D printer and print them.

Just wondering which way you orientated the main frame on the build plate? I'm new to 3D printing and am not aware yet of a way to add support structure other than at the base without altering the model in other 3D modeling software.

Printed a few parts already that have turned out great. Thanks!

Warwolf 1 (author)2014-05-08


supah4x0r (author)2014-03-20

I love this model, maybe slowly deconstructing the whole gun for parts and create a complete replica of the M1911.

Im in Australia so there are a few different laws about undetectable firearms.

We are much more strict though in terms of prohibited weapons and gun control.

chubmcy17 (author)2014-01-20

how did you print the frame? did you use a power printer to make this or just a regular pla filament extraction printer like the prusa i3 and makerbot? and did you print the frame vertically or horizontaly, and how do i get the correct scale on the pieces? Im planning on making this functional.

chendrickson1 (author)chubmcy172014-01-25

Looks like it has to be converted from inches to mm. Scale it up 25.4 and try that.

I'm going to print the handle scales today using the same formula, but the size looks right in Repetier.

supah4x0r (author)chendrickson12014-03-20

Might be worth noting, the bullet has already been scaled by 25.4.

My printer:

Printrbot Plus

Repetier Mac OSX

Joaquin Jenkinson (author)2014-03-11

Hey mate, I have a printer but the application (UP!)on the pc i use says its to big unless i make it smaller but if there is an easier way please tell me!

Samuel kos (author)2013-07-05

Mango I don't have a printer yet but plan on getting one by November, so I would find it very nice to have the files by then so I could mess around with my printer a bit

znerom (author)2013-03-31

@gmyers2112 comment, the one below this one. The site is not allowing me to use the reply button right now so I had to do this instead.

First of all consider that laws are different in different countries. Not everyone lives in the US and it is unwise to presume this is the case when talking about gun laws.

Furthermore what you say is not entirely true under US law, which is the country I presume you are referring to when you claim it is legal. Specifically the undetectable firearms act does indeed make fully 3d printed guns illegal (for arguably good reasons, as they avoid metal detectors). Distributing the files for 3d printing guns is therefore a really bad idea because of all the aiding, counseling, ect. charges that you can be hit with. I am not a lawyer and therefore not going to speculate on how this law interacts with fake firearms, but I would advice everyone be cautious on the issue as a matter of principle.

choward7 (author)znerom2013-04-28

Didn't he say that it was non-functional?
Not many people are shot with dummy guns :P

mangomango (author)choward72013-05-11

No but some people are shot Because of dummy guns. Specifically children who wave them around acting like theyre real..

mattglas (author)mangomango2013-05-21

what kind of child would have the access to a 3d printer and be stupid enough to go into public with it.. Just saying. Other wise nice instructables

ccavute (author)2013-04-13

hi, im more interested in what 3D printer you used to print the parts, seems really decent. thx

mangomango (author)ccavute2013-05-11

Dimension 1200es

Jensers (author)2013-05-09

Goodness sakes - it is just a plastic toy that doesnt shoot a damn thing. I have been keeping this instructable in my email so I could print this, and here I am with the printer and no drawing. Oh well - nanny state wins again.

mangomango (author)Jensers2013-05-11

Have faith Sir Jensers. I plan on restarting the project on monday just so i can finsih it and get all this off my back. Seeing as i only have a few weeks of school left, I will be hurrying. You won't have to wait much longer, but as a heads up i will make a seperate instructable.

Mr D. (author)2013-05-11

Looks pretty awesome, good work! You wouldn't happen to know what the 'Minimum Layer Thickness' of the 3D printer that you used to print this at your school is do you? Or the model of the printer so I can look it up?

mangomango (author)Mr D.2013-05-11

I used the Dimension 1200es which prints in 0.254 mm (0.010 in.)

eadrian (author)2013-04-06

What does it look like from the front (normal slide)? I just was wondering. Also, Shonenrek is my brother, and I am also interested in film-making. This might mean realistic stuff like Colt 1911's. Getting the models directly from some one like you who already has them would save us a lot of trouble in making them ourselves. also, does this model require springs? Sorry but I'm too lazy to read through it properly and some of it looks like springs........... ONE MORE THING! If you do decide to release the models for others, could you include the magazine with it? Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111one

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