WikiWeapons – To Print A Gun Or Not

3D printing, when it works, is a remarkably easy way to turn a very complicated design file into a physical object.

Open source, when it works, is a great way to innovate on and distribute an idea quickly.

What if that idea was a design for a gun?

The Defense Distributed project seems to be coming to open source 3D printing from a philosophical perspective. They assert that designing a 3D printable personal defensive weapon system is a challenge to numerous entities that they either disagree with or believe don’t go far enough in their beliefs.

More after the jump.

What Defense Distributed claims is that the RepRap project will inevitably result in 3D printers being as common as 2D printers. They combine this trend with their interpretation of the “information should be free” philosophy to arrive at the conclusion that designing a weapon is logical and appropriate. Basically, if people want to assert that information must be free, and that the internet will break down walls, then they have to accept that ALL information will be free and ALL walls will be broken. They conclude that it is appropriate to design a weapon for home 3D printers because making a weapon available to anyone at anytime is the only way to justify everyone as a moral agent. Also, there’s probably something about it being inevitable anyway in there.

They don’t have much to show yet, but I imagine they will produce their A & B weapons more-or-less on time. The only part that should present a problem is the chamber and barrel. They’re planning on using the .22 long rifle cartridge, but even that will produce a lot of heat and pressure for ABS plastic to handle, particularly since 3D printing makes a part with built-in fault lines.

Anywho, there’s already a lot of discussion on the topic, with the comments being the most interesting part…

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