Wilson’s Defense Distributed wants to catalyze a massive online catalog of weapons, similar to the user-generated encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The online blueprints, which are free and open to tinkering, have already been downloaded over 100,000 times, according to TPM.
3D printed weapons have faced harsh backlash from others in the growing industry of amateur 3D printing, the so-called “maker movement.” Popular 3D printer manufacturer and icon of the movement, Makerbot, has issued a strictly enforced ban on weapons.
3D printer company, Stratasys, attempted to stop Wilson by seizing the very printer he was leasing from them, but Wilson has since purchased another Stratasys printer.
Given the decentralized nature of such open-source movements, it’s hard to crack down on those who are willing to organize their own communities. “Our idea is to facilitate a community around what we’re doing,” said Wilson. “Defense Distributed is just about proving concepts and releasing snippets of basic information so others can learn. I think we’re a software organization, primarily.”
I’d guess the potential for evil with this is higher than the potential for good…depending on the circumstances..