Tag Archives: license

Defense Distributed Had Their Stratasys 3D Printer Taken Away

Defense Distributed, headed by Cody Wilson, is championing the Wiki Weapon project, the aim of which is to produce files for a 3D printable gun.

Unfortunately for them, when Stratasys found out what they were doing the 3D printer they had leased got repossessed.  Stratasys said that a plastic gun runs afoul of the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act which bans guns that can pass through a metal detector without setting it off (according to Wired Danger Room). WikiWep posted the letter from Stratasys on their blog…along with a weak attempt to spin the situation. This is also following the attempt to raise money on indiegogo, which was ended by indiegogo after they found out what Wilson was doing.

According to Wired…

Wilson visited the ATF field office in Austin…he added that the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area…

Wilson says he’s consulted with a lawyer, and is considering acquiring a federal firearms manufacturing license, a process that could take at least two months at the earliest. He’s also thought it may be necessary to incorporate Defense Distributed, turning it into a company instead of a decentralized internet collective.

Wilson says. “It’s just disgusting. I hate that that’s the way it is, but that’s apparently the regulatory landscape.”

Wilson says his group is looking at building an electricity-fired 3D-printed test chamber that can be used to test pressure and the interaction between heat given off by bullets with thermoplastic, which could cause the gun to melt. The chamber wouldn’t have a trigger, Wilson says, who also plans to send the schematics to the ATF for approval while waiting for a manufacturing license.

Wired Danger Room also produced an interesting follow up to this story in which they dive into Stratasys’ relationship with existing weapons manufacturers. It turns out the company’s 3D printers are very popular with companies like Remington because, surprise surprise, they use them to rapidly prototype new guns. There is an exception in the Undetectable Firearms Act for plastic guns as long as they are prototypes made by licensed manufacturers.

I’ll wrap this up with the words of 3D Systems Corporations, CEO, Abe Reichental

Keeping 3D printing positive, allowing it to continue to make good requires decisive action – industry wide action.

With that in mind, I call on our capable and responsible industry leaders to join me in making 3D printing good and the community safe. Without taking a position on gun control laws, our responsibility is to be lawful.

We should join together so parents don’t have to worry their child might print something illegally and communities don’t have to worry that someone irresponsible will open fire with a printed weapon and companies don’t have to worry about counterfeiting and piracy.

References and additional links

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AtFAB – Open Source Furniture

AtFAB is hoping that you will think about having your next table, chair or shelf cut out on a CNC machine.

Their furniture is licensed under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, so you can do whatever you want with it as long as you don’t sell it. If you want to sell it, they seem open to the idea of giving you an individual commercial license.

Balancing openness with the inherent need to pay for hardware development is tricky. For example, AtFAB will give you the DXF files for the furniture, but only after you exchange a couple emails and sign up for their mailing list. That seems fair, especially considering they have a nifty little app that lets you change some of the parameters in the files before you download them. You can stretch the chair out into a bench or adjust the cutlines to account for different material thicknesses.

Open design has been around just as long as open hardware, and the two have a lot of overlap since you need something physical to design on. That being said, I’m split on whether or not it makes any sense to “design” open hardware. On the one hand it never hurts to make something look prettier. On the other hand, open source designs tend to be utilitarian (because they tend to be cheap and require as few manufacturing steps as possible) so trying to “design” them starts to look an awful lot like trying too hard. An angular little chair is still an angular little chair after you paint an orange stripe on it.

Additional links:

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Makerbot’s Lawyer Explains Thingiverse Terms Of Use

Apparently Makerbot’s in-house lawyer has more important things to do than explain legal jargon to the public.

In a concise and coherent post, Rich McCarthy explains how Makerbot has structured their legal relationship with Thingiverse contributors. The short of it is that they are using roughly the same terms as sites like Youtube.com, they make no claim of ownership on anything uploaded to Thingiverse, and whatever license you attach to your work (like Creative Commons) they respect.

Well…that’s it. I don’t like doing tiny posts, so here is Josef Prusa explaining how to use the “new” Makerware program with old “unsupported” Makerbot printers.

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Interview With Marco Perry of PENSA About The DIWire

Marco Perry is co-founder of PENSA, a New York consultancy that designs and improves products. It wouldn’t be too far off to say that innovation is his business. A short while ago Pensa designed, demonstrated and then open sourced an automatic wire forming printer. In case you aren’t familiar with it, here’s an overview:

The DIWire has attracted a lot of attention and Pensa is even planning on unveiling an improved version at the 2012 Maker Faire. Openalia sat down with Mr. Perry for a quick discussion of the DIWire specifically, and open source hardware in general.

Continue reading

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Open Source Shepard Rocket Test Stand by Mach 30

Mach 30 is a 501c3 non-profit “dedicated to the advancement of humanity into a space-faring civilization…through sustainable leadership, open source hardware, and the use of mature technology.”

They’re starting small, with a test stand for Estes rocket motors. Their budget is fixed at $200, not including “consumables.” Their timeline is 3 months, assuming sufficient volunteer effort. Like this, only closer to the size of a microwave.

25,000 lb thrust LOX/propane motor run on available Horizontal test stand.

Mach 30 has an “open design pledge” rather than a traditional license: “In order to promote open sharing of the design of its hardware projects, Mach 30 will license all material related to hardware projects it creates under open licenses, asking only for attribution in return, without limits on the making, using, or selling of that hardware.” Basically, they seem to be treating the software as a solved problem, taken care of with the existing Apache License 2.0, but open hardware licenses aren’t as well developed, so Mach 30 is simply releasing them into the public domain.

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Lonnie Ray Atkinson Flows Open Source Ecology

Most people don’t immediately connect open source engineering with entertainment. Lonnie Ray Atkinson is not in that “most people” category.

He discovered Open Source Ecology through Juliet Schor’s book Plenitude and was so moved he turned some complicated ideas into surprisingly concise and catchy lyrics. He also released his song under the Creative Commons non-commercial license, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of OSE.

verse one:
Factor e farm, you gotta see this to believe this
new technology and the genius
to start from scratch and ask – what makes our survival clock tick
pretty soon they had a tractor and a machine that made bricks
now they all in, placing their bet
on what they call a global village construction set
50 machines for a civilization
and every machine designed for simple replication
so is there a catch? / well, of course
but it ain’t what you think, the catch is that it’s open source
open to all, no patents, no monopoly
a new movement – open source ecology
free collaboration with likeminded folks
a global network of skills to fill the spokes
a project to provide the plans to change history
consumer scale manufacturing, renewable energy
turning this new tech into solutions
in every sense of the word, a revolution

o-open the economy, o-open the economy
o-open source ecology, o-open source ecology
go check it out if you doubt this
you wanna better world, put your time where your mouth is

second verse:
so let me paint a picture in your head about the bread
we could save if this model were to spread
consumer scale means neighborhood production
low overhead, energy and resource reduction
more efficient and democratic distribution
less transportation, less factories less pollution
fair prices based on cost, no middle man
introduce the middle finger to the invisible hand
and understand – that’s only the industrial economy
imagine the potential for fighting world poverty
put a global village construction set in a poor town
let ‘em learn the system, replicate and pass it down
all they’d need is the knowledge, plans and raw materials
no import nightmares or dealing with imperial
ambitions, conditions on IMF loans
let the developing world develop on their own
you can teach a man to fish and still keep him in debt
or create a system that lets him produce his own nets

o-open the economy, o-open the economy
o-open source ecology, o-open source ecology
go check it out if you doubt this
you wanna better world, put your time where your mouth is

third verse:
wikiconomy, open source ecology
whatever you call it, it’s the future of economy
so if you’re serious about your intentions
of economic justice and meaningful change, pay attention
with open source, we ain’t gotta fight or ask permission
we do it on sly, bypass the whole system
the fastest nonviolent way to end monopoly
over the means of production, intellectual property
where, before, they’d just buy you off or break your jaw
they can’t compete with the internet and Moore’s Law
you can buy a dream team, but working in secret’ll never
beat the free exchange of hungry minds working together
and once a product’s open source it’s open source forever
and as the technology explodes, it gets better and better
interactive software for easy customization
gameification of open source tech education
preparation – we can’t sleep on the challenges coming
you want to organize around something
how ‘bout the day when the majority of workers in every nation
will be replaced by robotics and automation
in one scenario, the rich own all the patents, throw us in the trash
in the other, there’s enough open source that we still got a chance
to create new democratic structures for supply and demand
I know the irony is too delicious to stand
the world wide flow of info would be the Trojan horse
welcome to a better world, and guess what it’s yours
welcome to a better world, and guess what it’s yours
welcome to a better world, it’s open source

o-open the economy, o-open the economy
o-open source ecology, o-open source ecology
go check it out if you doubt this
you wanna better world, put your time where your mouth is

“Open Source Ecology (with Anitek)” by Lonnie Ray Atkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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