If you’ve been following 3D printing recently, you have surely heard of Defense Distributed, a controversial non-profit initiative to create printable 3D models of gun parts, led by Cody Wilson.
Wilson’s talk at SXSW this week revealed their plan to develop and launch a new for-profit venture to distribute said 3D models: DefCAD.com. It’s said to be a “search engine for 3D printing. Without the censorship”. The site will enable 3D printer owners to quickly find and download any 3D models, including Defense Distributed’s gun part models.
Today DEFCAD.com is still under development and in fact the site displays a Kickstarter-like fundraising campaign with a goal of USD$100,000.
But aren’t there 3D model repositories and search engines already in existence? Yes. But Defense Distributed risks being shut out of them due to the controversy of their material. Their models have been booted off of some online repositories. A fundraising campaign was excised from the Indiegogo crowdfunding service (this is perhaps why they seem to be using their own fundraising system.) They believe existing services like Google (“early decision to disallow promotion of firearms”
) and Thingiverse
(“a home for trinkets and garden gnomes”
) can’t or won’t host such files.
DEFCAD, run by Defense Distributed themselves, avoids this problem by “building a search engine for 3D printing.
Without the censorship.” Their site won’t take down files for reasons of mere censorship.
It’s not just about gun parts – any controversial (or non controversial) 3D model file could be hosted and indexed by DEFCAD. We suspect this alone will mean DEFCAD could succeed as it may quickly become the “Red Light District” of 3D printing.