The Pirate Bay’s Physibles Phizzles

By on July 31st, 2012 in Ideas


Some time ago the big news was the provocative announcement by the nefarious Pirate Bay torrent sharing site that they’d created a new category specifically for sharing (presumably copyrighted) 3D models. Months later we thought we’d check it out and see what kind of objects were available. 
We were underwhelmed by the rather short list of items. In fact, at the time of this writing, there were only 50 files listed. The good news for artists and bad news for pirates was that we didn’t see much, if any, copyrighted content on the short list. 
But what was on the list? Miscellaneous might generously describe what we found, which was mostly a mix of commonly available open sourced models such as: “Assorted Printables by Cathal Garvey“; “Whistle by Zaggo“; “Bathsheba Geared Widget“; and the “STL mesh of USA Terrain by Society for Printable Geography“. 
We found a few other items that might possibly be homemade, including: “Poodle Scan“; “Foot prosthetic modelation based on a real amputation“; and the intriguing “Import of 3d model in stl format into artcam“. Several aircraft models were listed. 
A tiny bit of advertising appears, too: “Buildatron_Systems_3D_Printers_-_Buildatron_3D_Printer_Logo” and “The Piratebay Pirate Ship.”
Some items were simply unintelligible and likely require download to figure out what they are, including the comedic “fartniks ahoy” and the ignorable “this is a test, ignore this (or not, whatever)”. Some are likely not even 3D models, such as: “Smartphone Upgrader” and the “Mysteries of Electricity booklet”.
And of course, what pirate site is complete without a 3D model of “WE MAKE PORN”. No, we didn’t want to investigate that one any further than reading the loud, uppercase characters. 
What are we to make of this? It seems that pirating of physical objects is simply not a sport these days. Perhaps people are able to get all the models they feel necessary from free sources such as Thingiverse? Or perhaps we just need more 3D printer owners. 
Now setting our Pirate Bay alarm clock for 2013. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!