MakerBot pulls 3D gun-parts blueprints after Sandy Hook
Published: 20th Dec 2012 11:56:31
3D printing firm MakerBot has pulled a collection of blueprints for gun parts from its website in the wake of last week's Sandy Hook mass school shooting.
Users were notified by lawyers that the software models for parts were deleted from design-sharing site Thingiverse.
MakerBot attorney Richard McCarthy said "recent events served as the impetus to take immediate action".
The move came as US President Barack Obama set a January deadline for proposals to deal with gun violence.
There have been calls for gun law reform after 26 children and teachers died at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut.
MakerBot cited its terms of service that users agree not to use the website "to collect, upload, transmit, display, or distribute any user content that... promotes illegal activities or contributes to the creation of weapons, illegal materials or is otherwise objectionable".
Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy”
Mr McCarthy, who represents the company, said in a comment to tech website Cnet: "We reiterate or emphasize the site's focus on creative empowerment for products that have a positive impact."
New York-based MakerBot has a 22% market share of all 3D printers, and is better known for its printable objects of everything ranging from toys, 3D portraits, tools and even Jedi lightsabers. Each Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer costs about $2,200 (£1,350).
The fresh debate over gun control in the US could increase scrutiny over the 3D-printed gun market. One US congressman last week urged a renewal of the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act which bans firearms capable of slipping through airport metal detectors. The law expires in December 2013.
The call by Congressman Steve Israel was made in reaction to a test-firing of a "Wiki Weapon" by members of a group aiming to create the world's first 3D-printed gun.
"Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy," said Mr Israel.
"With the advent of 3D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility, but the law Congress passed is set to expire next year," he added.
Reacting to MakerBot's crackdown, Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed which is behind the "Wiki Weapon" project, reportedly said that he planned to create a new site for "hosting 'fugitive' 3D-printable gun files in the next few hours".
"The internet routes around censorship," he said. "The project becomes more vital."
His company website says: "This project might change the way we think about gun control and consumption. How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the internet?"
Making 3D printed guns a reality still has a long way to go, the first being as Defense Distributed states: "These guns will be almost completely plastic, so melting and failing in your hand will be a concern."
Victims of last Friday's massacre were being laid to rest as Mr Obama appointed Vice-President Joe Biden to lead a task force to produce concrete proposals on the reform of gun laws within a month.
At 17:05:07 in SportWales manager Chris Coleman says he is yet to have a discussion about Ched Evans's Wales future.
At 17:01:48 in EnglandA British college is to open a training centre in India, as part of plans to strengthen ties between the two countries through education.
At 17:01:02 in EnglandA cigar which belonged to the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel is one of nearly 1,000 items to go on public display for the first time.
At 16:53:49 in EnglandA new development of social housing has been halted and may have to be demolished after a landslip.
At 16:52:22 in Northern IrelandThe statement was written in neat, small handwriting on a tiny sheet of paper.
At 16:50:48 in HeadlinesA US military jet has crashed in Virginia but the status of the pilot is unknown, military officials say.
At 16:45:37 in SportAnthony Joshua will face German Konstantin Airich on the undercard of Scott Quigg's WBA super-bantamweight title defence in Manchester.
At 16:42:43 in ScotlandMore than 120,000 bees have taken up residence on the roof of Glasgow City Council headquarters.
At 16:39:11 in SportNewcastle boss Alan Pardew insists midfielder Mehdi Abeid has a future at the club after rejecting an approach for the player during the summer.
At 16:37:25 in BusinessRussian courts have ordered four McDonald's outlets to close for 90 days, citing breaches of sanitary rules.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. MakerBot pulls 3D gun-parts blueprints after Sandy Hook [Online] (Updated 20th Dec 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1471080/MakerBot-pulls-3D-gun-parts-blueprints-after-Sandy-Hook [Accessed 27th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Sting has announced two concerts to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sage Gateshead arts venue.
Work will start next month on a £5.3m scheme to tackle a traffic bottleneck between Wrexham and Chester.
A US military jet has crashed in Virginia but the status of the pilot is unknown, military officials say.
Wales manager Chris Coleman says he is yet to have a discussion about Ched Evans's Wales future.
The statement was written in neat, small handwriting on a tiny sheet of paper.