Tag Archives: Wiki Weapon
Look who now has a license to manufacture firearms! The work begins!
– Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed
Controversial 3D printed guns maker Defense Distributed has attained a license to manufacture guns. An image of the Type 7 license was published on Defense Distributed’s Facebook page along with a note that said “The work begins!” This license allows the company to sell the parts they have been manufacturing, such as components for automatic weapons as well as its potential “Wiki Weapon.”
There has been much debate on the topic:
- MakerBot pulled plans for gun parts from Thingiverse following the Newton school shootings
- Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is looking to introduce legislation to prohibit 3D printing of gun parts
- Chris Anderson weighs in saying “3D printing is a terrible technology for the working components of a gun.”
Here’s the original launch video for Defense Distributed, now with over 1 million views.
“3D printing is a terrible technology for the working components of a gun. There is no tensile strength. It would blow up in your face. You can buy guns in Walmart — they are not a scarce product. And if you want a good barrel you can go and get a bit of plumbing from the store.”
This comes after a wave of concern and paranoia about people 3D printing their own guns at home in the wake of school shootings that rocked the news. One such example was the “Wiki Weapon” from Defense Distributed, pictured below.
Hopefully this type of common sense will prevent regulation from hindering the potential of 3D printing to revolutionize our world.
Chris Anderson photo by Tom Foremski.
As the country recovers from the recent mass school shooting in Newtown, CT, and at the same time engages in a national debate around gun control, an unlikely topic is coming under fire: 3D printing.
Basically, there are some fringe gun activists who are exploiting the national attention to gun rights to get some publicity for their new ideas. One of these, Defense Distributed has been publishing their plans for a “Wiki Weapon.”
Those who read on3dprinting.com know the potentially massive positive contributions that 3D printing can make for our global society. Unfortunately, however, some legislators are now discussing regulations on 3D printing because they are afraid people will print high-capacity gun clips.
In the release below, Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) writes about his intentions to regulate 3D printing.
Rep. Israel to Introduce Legislation to Prohibit Homemade 3-D Printed Magazines Along with Plastic Guns
As Debate Stirs Around High-Capacity Gun Clips, Homemade Gun Enthusiasts Show Clip Can be Made At Home with 3-D Printer
Woodbury, NY—Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) called for a renewal of a revamped Undetectable Firearms Act that includes the ban of homemade, 3-D printed, plastic high-capacity magazines. The existing ban on plastic guns expires this year and does not clearly cover magazines. This past weekend, Defense Distributed, a group of homemade gun enthusiasts used a 3-D printer to print and test an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and reportedly firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip. A video of them firing the weapon can be seen here.
Rep. Israel said, “Background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print high-capacity magazines at home. 3-D printing is a new technology that shows great promise, but also requires new guidelines. Law enforcement officials should have the power to stop keep homemade high-capacity magazines from proliferating with a Google search.”
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said, “With every advancement in technology, there will be those who attempt to exploit it for unintended purposes. And in those situations, it is incumbent upon our elected officials and law enforcement agencies to take necessary action to protect the public. This common sense legislation closes a dangerous loophole in the law, and I strongly support Congressman Israel’s efforts in seeing these dangerous magazines banned.”
3-D printers work by printing layer upon layer of a material, usually thermoplastic, on top of each other in order to form a 3-D object. The revamped Undetectable Firearms Act that Rep. Israel wrote makes it illegal to manufacture, own, transport, buy, or sell any firearm or magazine that is homemade and not detectable by metal detector and/or does not present an accurate image when put through an x-ray machine. The reauthorization would extend the life of the bill for another 10 years from the date of enactment.
Steve Israel photo by Third Way used under Creative Commons license.
In September, we covered the Wiki Weapon, a 3D printed gun. While it seemed like a relative innocent novelty, the stakes have changed this month, when a terrible tragedy struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT.
In response, MakerBot is enforcing policies around weapon design, as Forbes reports:
In the wake of one of worst shooting incidents in American history, the 3D-printing firm Makerbot has deleted a collection of blueprints for gun components from Thingiverse, its popular user-generated content website that hosts 3D-printable files. Though Thingiverse has long banned designs for weapons and their components in its terms of service, it rarely enforced the rule until the last few days, when the company’s lawyer sent notices to users that their software models for gun parts were being purged from the site.
Makerbot, for its part, included no mention of the Newtown shootings in a statement sent to me about the gun takedowns. “MakerBot’s focus is to empower the creative process and make things for good,” writes Makerbot spokesperson Jenifer Howard. “Thingiverse has been going through an evolution recently and has had numerous changes and updates. Reviewing some of the content that violates Thingiverse’s Terms of Service is part of this process.”
In the past, Makerbot chief executive and founder Bre Pettis has remained ambivalent about guns on Thingiverse, which has become the world’s most popular sharing platform for 3D-printing files. When I asked him about the issue last month, Pettis pointed to the terms of service ban on weapons, but added that the site goes largely unpoliced. He was more explicit in a blog post last year: “The cat is out of the bag,” Pettis wrote. “And that cat can be armed with guns made with printed parts.”
That freewheeling outlook contrasted with other 3D printing services like Shapeways, which bans the uploading of even gun-like toys more than 10 centimeters in length.
Good for MakerBot to make this decision. But it looks like it won’t stop Cody Wilson from attempting to advance his useless agenda.
In response to Makerbot’s crackdown, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson wrote in an email, saying that the group plans to create its own site for hosting “fugitive” 3D printable gun files “in the next few hours.”
Neither Wilson believes that neither Makerbot’s purge of gun parts nor the outcry over the Newtown shooting has hampered Defense Distributed’s initiative. “The Internet routes around censorship,” he writes. “The project becomes more vital.”
Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in October 2012.
Thanks for reading in October!
Bill Gates photo by MATEUS_27:24&25 used under Creative Commons license.