Company Seizes 3-D Printer From Student Using It To Build Gun
AUSTIN, Texas (CBS Houston) — A company seizes a 3-D printer from a graduate student who was using it to build a gun.
Cody Wilson, a second-year law student at the University of Texas at Austin, started a group called Defense Distributed which created plans for a handgun that could be manufactured by a 3-D printer. The group received $20,000 in funding through their website for their project called “Wiki Weapon.”
Using the funds they raised, the group rented a Stratasys uPrint SE 3-D machine, and shortly after the machine was seized by its manufacturer.
Wired reports Stratasys seized the machine because Defense Distributed violated the terms of the lease for the printer. In a statement, the company said that it is “the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.”
Stratasys sent a team of representatives to reclaim the printer last week.
“I didn’t even have it out of the box,” Wilson told Wired.
Wilson and Defense Distributed even faced a setback from the ATF.
When Wilson visited the Austin Texas branch of the ATF to investigate the legality of creating a handgun via a 3-D printer, the visit turned into an “unexpected questioning session,” according to CNET.
Wired reports Wilson “was brought into a room, questioned and was told the agency was preparing to visit his apartment” for an investigation.
However, the ATF isn’t charging Wilson because he hasn’t broken any laws, but he still stumbled onto a legal grey area. The ATF is requiring Wilson to get licensed to continue with his “Wiki Weapon” project.