Defense Distributed is best known as the team behind the 3D printed gun parts that have inspired controversy around the country. Now the team is ready to offer something to the entire 3D printing community - not just those interested in gun parts.
Forbes reports that Defense Distributed announced over the weekend at SXSW that it has a new startup in the works that will offer 3D printable models. The team says the current Defcad Web site, where it hosts its gun parts, will serve as the backbone.
So, what's the main advantage of Defcad over more established sites like Thingiverse? The team says that files uploaded to its site won't be deleted or censored. The team knows a little something about that as Thingiverse started deleting gun parts from its Web site citing a ToS violation. Defcad would play host to the kinds of objects that Thingiverse won't touch and then some.
Defcad won't just be home to legally ambiguous items like gun parts though. The site will be home to a variety of objects, including 3D printed prosthetics and medicine. The only difference is that the Defense Distributed team will fight for the creator's right to have their files hosted on the service. Team leader Cody Wilson says that he'll even fight takedown requests from rights holders.
Creating a repository of 3D printable CAD files free from censorship is only part of the plan though. The other is to make a business out of Defcad as the team intends to sell advertisements. The current Defcad has already proven this to be a viable business model as a single banner ad has reportedly generated over $4,000 a month. When they start adding more than just gun parts to the site, the ad revenue will surely increase alongside a spike in visitors to the site.
It's going to be interesting going forward. People will be scrutinizing Defcad, and Defense Distributed, as they grow. They aren't doing anything technically illegal yet, but you can be sure that people will be watching to see if they do.