The creator of DEFCAD, the 3D printer gun site, has Tweeted that visitors to the site have downloaded over 250K design files since its launch last December.
The site was launched by Defense Distributed when MakerBot decided to remove all filearms related files from its Thingiverse website. Since its birth the DEFCAD website has courted controversy as it is seen as a means of getting around existing and proposed U.S. gun controls by using 3D printers to create gun parts. This has led to enterprising gun owners uploading their 3D files for printable gun parts to DEFCAD.
Even though the site is proving highly controversial this hasn’t stopped interest in the site developing, probably helped by “viral” growth on social networks by gun owners. Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson has also said that DEFCAD gets an average of 3,000 visitors per hour, and not just from people in the United States.
A fully working and reliable 3D printed gun is some way off at the moment, due to the limitations of the plastic materials that can be used with most consumer level 3D printers. But this hasn’t stopped technically minded gun enthusiasts designing 3D printed gun components, such as large capacity magazines, grips and lower receivers (the part that contains the tripper and magazine port).
Lawmakers and politicians will no doubt be keeping a close eye on sites like DEFCAD because the technology used in 3D printers is quickly advancing. It’s possible that at some point guns will be able to be printed at home and government gun restrictions will be rendered useless.