A new video showcasing the future of weapons was released on YouTube today: a enterprising 24-year-old gun enthusiast manufactured his own high-capacity 30-round gun magazine using a 3D printer. Hoping to spread the amateur design of more “Wiki Weapons”, the rebellious 24-year-old designer nicknamed the blueprints of the weapon, the “Cuomo,” named after New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who signed a recent ban on all gun magazines in excess of 7 rounds. “He [Cuomo] wants to be associated with these magazines,” designer Cody Wilson told Talking Points Memo. “Lets make that association permanent.”
Wilson’s Defense Distributed wants to catalyze a massive online catalog of weapons, similar to the user-generated encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The online blueprints, which are free and open to tinkering, have already been downloaded over 100,000 times, according to TPM.
3D printed weapons have faced harsh backlash from others in the growing industry of amateur 3D printing, the so-called “maker movement.” Popular 3D printer manufacturer and icon of the movement, Makerbot, has issued a strictly enforced ban on weapons.
3D printer company, Stratasys, attempted to stop Wilson by seizing the very printer he was leasing from them, but Wilson has since purchased another Stratasys printer.
Given the decentralized nature of such open-source movements, it’s hard to crack down on those who are willing to organize their own communities. “Our idea is to facilitate a community around what we’re doing,” said Wilson. “Defense Distributed is just about proving concepts and releasing snippets of basic information so others can learn. I think we’re a software organization, primarily.”
Wikipedia probably never imagined it would be the inspiration for a global movement of gun makers. But, in this new world of easily accessible technology, every group will be able to re-imagine their ideology for the 21st Century.