3D Printed Gun Parts Are Being Removed From Thingiverse

    December 20, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Thingiverse is by far the most popular Web site for those looking for 3D printing designs. The Web site, owned by Makerbot, offers designs for just about everything – including gun parts. Said parts were technically against the rules, but Makerbot rarely enforced it until the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Forbes reports that Thingiverse is now removing gun parts from the site. Those who had uploaded parts to the site were recently greeted with notices that said their parts were in violation of a rule that said users can’t promote “illegal activities” or “contribute to the creation of weapons.”

The removal of gun parts from Thingiverse shouldn’t be surprising. It was against the Web site’s policies, and the moderation team is only being spurred to act on the heels of a tragedy involving gun violence. 3D printing is already on some lawmakers’ radars because of the technology’s potential to make weapons, and Thingiverse undoubtedly wants to remain out of sight when lawmakers start investigating.

With all that being said, this isn’t the end of 3D printed guns. Thingiverse was just one portal for designs, albeit the most popular. There are a multitude of options for gunsmiths to upload designs including popular torrent trackers. The guys at Defense Distributed are also continuing their work on a 3D printed gun, and will be releasing a new video this weekend of their latest research into a 3D printed lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle.

Gun control is going to be at the forefront of national discussion early next year, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are going to propose a lot of legislation. 3D printed guns will undoubtedly be roped into the talks. It will be interesting to see what lawmakers will have to say about 3D printers at that time. Will there be more ignorance, or will lawmakers understand that gun parts are just one tiny sliver of the 3D printing equation?

  • http://haveblue.org Have Blue

    “It was always against the Web site’s policies”

    Incorrect – at the time that I uploaded my lower receiver to the site, there was nothing in the terms of service restricting such content. Thingiverse later changed their TOS retroactively.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Thanks for the correction. It’s been fixed.

  • tom carney

    I see another manifestation of the notion that they (whoever they are) don’t trust the citizenry. And what educated American thinks this is good?

  • Georgetown

    Weapons and arms of any kind are not illegal within The USA, and anyone can design and 3D print a working gun on any design program and 3D printer. No biggie. Obamas and the Democratic Partys overseas communist owners and benefactors want to change America so much, but America will have to strike back hard at Obama to show him how much America will protect Our families and Our other investments.

  • http://shonjimenez.com Shon Jimenez

    Everyone is over reacting to this school shooting. Obama is probably going to pull out an executive order and ban the sale of AR-15’s and other assault rifles. There are far less mass shootings than people who die from the flu. I am so glad I got an AR-15 for Christmas before they ban the sale of them. What they don’t understand is everytime they go on TV and say they are going to ban these things, it makes people go out and buy them, so if they are truely worried about guns, they need to shut up about it