Photo: via defence Distributed
Cody Wilson, founder of an internet project aimed at producing defence weapons using 3D printing techniques, has run into trouble with Stratasys, the 3D printing company from which he leased the equipment.Wilson recently started the company, an “internet collective” called Wiki defence Distributed, to “print” weapons and distribute the schematics for those weapons online.
But Stratasys recently reclaimed the 3D printer Wilson leased, citing Wilson’s lack of a Federal Firearms Manufacturing licence, according to Wired‘s Danger Room. The company also cited its own policy of recalling printers for items it feels may be used for illegal purposes.
According to Danger Room’s Robert Beckhusen, Wilson attempted to reason with the company, saying that he wasn’t breaking any laws if he wasn’t planning on selling his “experimental” output.
Beckhusen reported that Wilson then visited the nearest Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms bureau and found himself under the spotlight for an impromptu questioning session. Afterward, the ATF decided Wilson’s endeavour fell into a “legal grey area.”
Wilson told Danger Room he was consulting a lawyer, and planned to do whatever needed to be done, both in terms of regulations and incorporating his “internet collective” into a real company.
“We want everyone else to not have to do these things, so fine, we’ll do them, we’ll fool around with it, we’ll pay the thousands of dollars per year,” Wilson told Danger Room. “It’s just disgusting. I hate that that’s the way it is, but that’s apparently the regulatory landscape.”
Not super dangerous, Wilson’s 3D printed weapons are essentially useless once a single round has been fired, since the plastic barrel would melt. One of his goals is to test and produce 3D printed weapons without this weakness.
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