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3D printer for gun plans muzzled by printing company (VIDEO)


Product Marketing Manager of Stratasys Inc, Fred Fischer (R) and Vice President International Sales, Woody Frost stand next to the newly launched U-print 3D printer in Bangalore on July 30, 2009. Design Tech Systems, the sole country-wide distributor of Stratasys, organised the conference to launch U-Print, a personal 3D printer from their dimension series in India.



Building guns at home using a 3D printer is not what Stratasys envisioned when developing the cutting-edge technology.

That’s why the Minnesota-based company revoked the license of a group called Defense Distributed, which wanted to print a weapon and distribute those plans online.

“They came for it straight up,” Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson told “I didn’t even have it out of the box.”

Defense Distributed is an online collective lead by Wilson, a second-year law student at University of Texas at Austin.

The group raised $20,000 online to lease a 3D printer from Stratasys.

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When the company heard about Defense Distributed’s plans, they asked for the printer back.

“It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes,” the company’s letter to Wilson said.

The letter also said it made the decision because Wilson doesn’t have a firearms license.

Wilson contends that what his group wanted to do isn’t illegal because it didn’t intend to sell the weapons.

Marc Goodman of Future Crimes Institute told BBC this is only the beginning of a great debate surrounding technology and how it outpaces law.

“This appears to be a grey area under US law and the laws of other countries,” Goodman said at

“In this case, this was being done very overtly and trying to prove a point. I am far more concerned about the people who aren’t publicizing it.”

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