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Folks on Thingiverse are talking about possibly banning uploads which could be used as, or relate to, weapons. In particular, a bunch of different builders have started to upload parts of an AR-15 rifle, including Crank’s 5-shot magazine, pictured above. Where is this trend going? Should Thingiverse ban anything that could be used as a weapon? Leave your thoughts here or on Thingiverse’s discussion page.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. David C Dean says:

    A magazine is not a weapon.  How about people not stick their nose in what entirely legal and normal activities I do and share with like-minded friends and family?

    1. that’s the thing David.

      Might or might not be legal.  I sure as hell wouldn’t want to deal with the responsibility of having hosted this file if someone misuses it.

      1. David C Dean says:

        I don’t know about all that.  People have been writing and sharing books, blueprints, CAD drawings, instructions, hacks, improvements, etc. on the fabrication of firearm parts and accessories since time immemorial.

        If they were actually worried about a non-issue suddenly becoming a *legal* problem they should ask a lawyer, *not* sidebar poll random users on their site.

        1. Yes but books, blueprints, drawings, etc are not the same as providing means to actually build it.

          And it’s very possible that there’s no legal precedent so that they don’t want to be a test case.  Even if you win in court it often takes a ton of money and time.

          1. David C Dean says:

            On the contrary, 3d model designs are just like cad drawings.  There is no issue here.

  2. David C Dean says:

    A magazine is not a weapon.  How about people not stick their nose in what entirely legal and normal activities I do and share with like-minded friends and family?

  3. BlainT says:

    every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

  4. BlainT says:

    every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

  5. Robert Allen says:

    Don’t let the nannies be a distraction from being creative.

  6. Robert Allen says:

    Don’t let the nannies be a distraction from being creative.

  7. coming from europe where there is a big difference between improvised weapons and tech that is actually designed to be used as a weapon i have my concerns about leaving things like rifle-magazines on thingiverse. i can understand not wanting to ban anything from an american perspective. but if you want to be a international platform you might be better of with permitting at least firearms. its more a cultural thing. but even liberal europeans wont like having open source firearms on such a platform. although you should def make it clear what is permitted and what not. to ban everthing that might be used as a weapon seems a bit far off to me as well.

    1. Jim Richardson says:

      Well, if it’s a cultural thing, we should also ban Crosses, any religious symbols in fact. 

      Banning things because someone might become offended ? stupid. 

    2. Daniel says:

      Personally, I’m not even really a liberal European (though I am European), and I’m not against weapons being posted.
      And that is the problem of this argument, too many people thinking they know best, too many people thinking that they can speak for others, and too many people wondering about the what ifs.
      For me i don’t think that any design should be held back, (even patented designs, -I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to print out a replacement coupling for my washing machine).
      I don’t see why I, or indeed any student shouldn’t learn about any mechanism relevant to anything needed to be learned, regardless of it’s eventual use. (think about crossbow trigger mechanisms, a great example of over locking latch systems, a part of a weapon yes, but also useful in many other areas.
      but I do think that all designs should be clearly marked and categorised, with product description tags, and that in each persons profile they should be allowed to decide what they are allowed to see.in that way when a school logs on they shouldn’t be able to see anything marked as “Gun”, “knife”, “weapon”, etc.but might still like to see items marked “toy weapon”.
      the same holds true for religious items, people of certain faiths may not like people seeing things from other faiths (so they could similarly be categorised and excluded at will)
      and people might not like seeing sex toys, (which again can be marked and excluded at users will…
      Basically, introduce a tagging system, allow everything and allow people to limit their own worlds (or those of their children) if they really feel that their worlds need to be limited.

  8. coming from europe where there is a big difference between improvised weapons and tech that is actually designed to be used as a weapon i have my concerns about leaving things like rifle-magazines on thingiverse. i can understand not wanting to ban anything from an american perspective. but if you want to be a international platform you might be better of with permitting at least firearms. its more a cultural thing. but even liberal europeans wont like having open source firearms on such a platform. although you should def make it clear what is permitted and what not. to ban everthing that might be used as a weapon seems a bit far off to me as well.

  9. coming from europe where there is a big difference between improvised weapons and tech that is actually designed to be used as a weapon i have my concerns about leaving things like rifle-magazines on thingiverse. i can understand not wanting to ban anything from an american perspective. but if you want to be a international platform you might be better of with permitting at least firearms. its more a cultural thing. but even liberal europeans wont like having open source firearms on such a platform. although you should def make it clear what is permitted and what not. to ban everthing that might be used as a weapon seems a bit far off to me as well.

  10. Things says:

    Nothing should be banned from thingsverse because it doesn’t matter if we police ourselves and ban weapons, someone is still going to do it and politicians are still going to try to take our freedom regardless if thingsverse bans it or not. So do not preemptively censor, wait for the boots of fascism to force our hand.

    You just wait, in a few years there might be legislation like the DMCA but for patents where they send 1/2 of thingsverse a patent take down. Soon enough us creative types will be forced to feel the real cost of IP.

  11. Things says:

    Nothing should be banned from thingsverse because it doesn’t matter if we police ourselves and ban weapons, someone is still going to do it and politicians are still going to try to take our freedom regardless if thingsverse bans it or not. So do not preemptively censor, wait for the boots of fascism to force our hand.

    You just wait, in a few years there might be legislation like the DMCA but for patents where they send 1/2 of thingsverse a patent take down. Soon enough us creative types will be forced to feel the real cost of IP.

  12. Things says:

    Nothing should be banned from thingsverse because it doesn’t matter if we police ourselves and ban weapons, someone is still going to do it and politicians are still going to try to take our freedom regardless if thingsverse bans it or not. So do not preemptively censor, wait for the boots of fascism to force our hand.

    You just wait, in a few years there might be legislation like the DMCA but for patents where they send 1/2 of thingsverse a patent take down. Soon enough us creative types will be forced to feel the real cost of IP.

  13. Donald Papp says:

    Frankly I’m surprised there isn’t more crossover between (for example) target shooters and more traditional modern Makers.

    Firearms sports and target shooting involves a HUGE amount of DIY and the Maker-spirit. Entire cottage industries revolve around people enjoying and constantly tweaking and modifying and building for better performance or just plain old fun.

    Heck, just a few months ago I used knowledge learned off the Make blog (how to make and heat-treat your own springs) to make a replacement spring for a pistol that is roughly 70 years old (and for which I had no luck obtaining a replacement.)

    I have used my Makerbot to print replacement parts that relate to my firearms hobby (for example, a critical little plastic piece from a magazine that got lost during disassembly, which I would have had zero chance of buying a replacement) I certainly tried my hand at reproducing the plastic AR-15 magazine!

    It would be a shame if Thingiverse would actively disallow that sort of thing. It’s *already* a shame that the community in general seems so hostile to the idea when there is so much in common when you get to the roots and DIY spirit.

  14. Jim Richardson says:

    There’s no such thing as something that *can’t* be used as a weapon. 

  15. mikemiller10 says:

    A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an
    axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using
    it. Remember that.

    -Shane

  16. Nothing should be banned from Thingiverse(proper credit should always be given). Even if the object is illegal to possess, it is up to the printer operator to determine the legality and morality of creating the object. There are hundreds of technical books and manuals that provide detailed plans to manufacture lethal weapons(read: “The Anarchist Cookbook”). Firearms patents(basically detailed plans of every part) are available to the general public. If someone is really determined to print a weapon, they could model it themselves. Censoring Thingiverse would be like censoring the press.

  17. Peter says:

    could be used as, or relate to,, that sure leaves the doors wide open. Where do you draw the line, who gets to decide? Shoot cars are used as weapons every day to maim and kill people, should we not ban cars and anything that might be related to cars also?

  18. Richard Wierenga says:

    NO

  19. Richard Wierenga says:

    NO

  20. Arno Brosi says:

    For me,it depends on the weapon:assault rifles and parts of it:probably not a good idea but knives and crossbows etc,sure why not.I don’t agree with people who say that a gun is a tool.A knife can be used as a tool or a weapon but a gun is only a weapon.

    1. JC says:

      It is ok if you do not agree with me.  That is just your opinion.  But a Gun IS also a tool.  You can use that tool to get food.  As in harvesting a deer, elk, rabbit or whatever.

      By saying “but a gun is only a weapon”  Is saying that a staple gun is only a weapon too because it is called a gun.

      1. David C Dean says:

        He’s simply incorrect.  All weapons are tools by definition.  This is not a matter of opinion.

        http://www.google.com/?q=define:+tool

        As for the broader subject, we’re not even discussing a weapon here.  We’re discussing an accessory.  There are no printable AR-15′s.  This is about censoring out anything that even refers to firearms because someone doesn’t like that other people enjoy firearms.  And it’s an absurd suggestion.

  21. Arno Brosi says:

    For me,it depends on the weapon:assault rifles and parts of it:probably not a good idea but knives and crossbows etc,sure why not.I don’t agree with people who say that a gun is a tool.A knife can be used as a tool or a weapon but a gun is only a weapon.

  22. The problem with weapons is where do you draw the line?

    How about a toy gun? A highly accurate toy gun replica could be deadly. A kid could print it out, waive it at a cop in a dark alley, and get himself killed by a cop who justifiably opens fire in defense of his life.

    What about the guy who makes slingshot weapons? He’s built weapons that can fling saw blades. Would that be banned?

    What about a BB shooter that uses a rubber band? You could, as we were all warned as children, put an eye out it.

    What if I print the Sword of Omens (like I have), and use that to create a mold to cast a metal version. I then hone it and start swinging it around. Should we ban that because it’s one step removed from an actual weapon that could reasonably be expected to seriously wound or kill?

    What about people who like to make movie replicas for fun (or maybe for their jobs)? Guns, knives, crossbows, blowguns, etc. Do we ban those?

    If someone models a highly accurate replica and another person prints that out and uses it to commit a crime (think fake gun in the coat pocket), would that be a reason to ban the weapon?

    What about chemistry items? Someone could design equipment that one could use to help make bombs. Do we ban DIY distillation stands to prevent this from happening?

    Anything could be traced to a dangerous purpose. Who decides?

    1. Kwaka Laka says:

      An idiot with a ballpoint pen could kill an innocent person.  You’re just causing more problems.

    2. How about the people who would be held liable if it’s misused?

      Just saying.

  23. Wire Geek says:

    Absolutely not. Thingiverse should encourage the posting of weapons and weapons-related items.

  24. First they came for my 3D printer…

  25. Anonymous says:

    No, you should not ban them.

    The simple question you need to ask yourself is “Once it started, where would it end?”.

    Should we allow sex toys to be uploaded? Or religious imagery? What would the limit be if you began censoring these ideas?

  26. Anonymous says:

    No, you should not ban them.

    The simple question you need to ask yourself is “Once it started, where would it end?”.

    Should we allow sex toys to be uploaded? Or religious imagery? What would the limit be if you began censoring these ideas?

  27. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  28. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  29. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  30. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  31. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  32. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  33. srmoore says:

    I think I’m pretty much against banning the files being up there, it isn’t like they are making weapons available to people directly. Also you have the “Where do you draw the line?” question.

    Thingiverse probably has to think long and hard about this, because it comes down to a liability thing. If all the parts are up there to print out and make a one shot weapon that someone makes and assembles and uses to kill someone (an unlikely scenario yes, but still possible), could someone come after them for making the part files available (either criminally, or in a civil case?)

    I really figure it isn’t really Thingiverse’s problem, as the information is out there anyway. (Just like how older encyclopedias use to have detailed descriptions of things like thermite bombs.) But they may be wanting to CYA, especially now that they (through Makerbot Industries) have an infusion of cash and investors to answer to.

  34. Garrett Mace says:

    I have no problem with people designing and printing their own 3D weapon components, or even sharing them within communities based around weapons. But Thingiverse is a private entity and the people that run it can decide whether weapon parts mesh with their overall plans for the site.

    I’m on the fence here. On one hand I don’t really agree with posting parts that could get people in legal trouble if they manufactured them; theoretically nothing would prevent the BATF subpoenaing Thingiverse for a list of IPs that downloaded a particular design and then investigate whether those parts were manufactured without permits. I don’t really enjoy seeing the proliferation of weapon parts (defined as components of devices that were designed specifically to maim and kill people).

    On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed printing out and using the shuriken refrigerator magnets, as an example. It’s a design based on weaponry but crosses over into kitsch/parody. Perhaps I just don’t like seeing gun parts or full size gun replicas on Thingiverse, specifically.

  35. Garrett Mace says:

    I have no problem with people designing and printing their own 3D weapon components, or even sharing them within communities based around weapons. But Thingiverse is a private entity and the people that run it can decide whether weapon parts mesh with their overall plans for the site.

    I’m on the fence here. On one hand I don’t really agree with posting parts that could get people in legal trouble if they manufactured them; theoretically nothing would prevent the BATF subpoenaing Thingiverse for a list of IPs that downloaded a particular design and then investigate whether those parts were manufactured without permits. I don’t really enjoy seeing the proliferation of weapon parts (defined as components of devices that were designed specifically to maim and kill people).

    On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed printing out and using the shuriken refrigerator magnets, as an example. It’s a design based on weaponry but crosses over into kitsch/parody. Perhaps I just don’t like seeing gun parts or full size gun replicas on Thingiverse, specifically.

  36. Garrett Mace says:

    I have no problem with people designing and printing their own 3D weapon components, or even sharing them within communities based around weapons. But Thingiverse is a private entity and the people that run it can decide whether weapon parts mesh with their overall plans for the site.

    I’m on the fence here. On one hand I don’t really agree with posting parts that could get people in legal trouble if they manufactured them; theoretically nothing would prevent the BATF subpoenaing Thingiverse for a list of IPs that downloaded a particular design and then investigate whether those parts were manufactured without permits. I don’t really enjoy seeing the proliferation of weapon parts (defined as components of devices that were designed specifically to maim and kill people).

    On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed printing out and using the shuriken refrigerator magnets, as an example. It’s a design based on weaponry but crosses over into kitsch/parody. Perhaps I just don’t like seeing gun parts or full size gun replicas on Thingiverse, specifically.

  37. Garrett Mace says:

    I have no problem with people designing and printing their own 3D weapon components, or even sharing them within communities based around weapons. But Thingiverse is a private entity and the people that run it can decide whether weapon parts mesh with their overall plans for the site.

    I’m on the fence here. On one hand I don’t really agree with posting parts that could get people in legal trouble if they manufactured them; theoretically nothing would prevent the BATF subpoenaing Thingiverse for a list of IPs that downloaded a particular design and then investigate whether those parts were manufactured without permits. I don’t really enjoy seeing the proliferation of weapon parts (defined as components of devices that were designed specifically to maim and kill people).

    On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed printing out and using the shuriken refrigerator magnets, as an example. It’s a design based on weaponry but crosses over into kitsch/parody. Perhaps I just don’t like seeing gun parts or full size gun replicas on Thingiverse, specifically.

  38. Garrett Mace says:

    I have no problem with people designing and printing their own 3D weapon components, or even sharing them within communities based around weapons. But Thingiverse is a private entity and the people that run it can decide whether weapon parts mesh with their overall plans for the site.

    I’m on the fence here. On one hand I don’t really agree with posting parts that could get people in legal trouble if they manufactured them; theoretically nothing would prevent the BATF subpoenaing Thingiverse for a list of IPs that downloaded a particular design and then investigate whether those parts were manufactured without permits. I don’t really enjoy seeing the proliferation of weapon parts (defined as components of devices that were designed specifically to maim and kill people).

    On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed printing out and using the shuriken refrigerator magnets, as an example. It’s a design based on weaponry but crosses over into kitsch/parody. Perhaps I just don’t like seeing gun parts or full size gun replicas on Thingiverse, specifically.

  39. Anonymous says:

    The owners of Thingiverse should call their lawyers and ask THEM what their opinions are instead of asking us.

  40. Anonymous says:

    You can get detailed patent drawings of weapons by simply asking the USPTO. You can get detailed instructions on how to make everything from swords to machine guns. Anyone with a very simple machine shop can turn out much sturdier metal versions of the same items. This sort of mindless fear serves no useful purpose except prior restraint on the free exchange of information.

    And what constitutes “could be used as a weapon”? When I taught combatives I showed students how to use anything from plastic coat hangers to fluffy teddy bears as weapons. I’m completely serious about the fluffy teddy bears.

    1. Phlamingo says:

      Oh, please post a video link!

  41. Anonymous says:

    You can get detailed patent drawings of weapons by simply asking the USPTO. You can get detailed instructions on how to make everything from swords to machine guns. Anyone with a very simple machine shop can turn out much sturdier metal versions of the same items. This sort of mindless fear serves no useful purpose except prior restraint on the free exchange of information.

    And what constitutes “could be used as a weapon”? When I taught combatives I showed students how to use anything from plastic coat hangers to fluffy teddy bears as weapons. I’m completely serious about the fluffy teddy bears.

  42. Frank F says:

    I am all about free will & free speech.

     3 thoughts: 1) Posting this on Thingverse verses posting on a web page for weapons.  Same difference to me.  2) Thingverse is a private concern and they can do anything they want to do. 3) Possibly adding an offensive count/flag that cycles out a posting. So if enough visitors find it offensive, then remove it.

    To the folks that comment where to draw the line of what is offfensive and not. Don’t think about it that way, think about what offends you personally and what is your level of confort of seeing an aborted fetus on the same page as a toy whistle design.

    Anyhoo, that is my two cents :-D

  43. One more thing. If you’re going to start banning weapons, sooner or later, someone will ask to have this banned because it’s a weapon and encourages children to engage in violent behavior:

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12476

  44. Tim Dolan says:

    The most dangerous weapon in the world sits on your shoulders.  Anyone who inhabits this site is a potential weapons designer.  I believe that screw drivers have already been repurposed to do violence.  What about ice picks?  Bombs from fertalizer?  I think we should ban tool using all together and go back to the trees.

  45. Tim Dolan says:

    The most dangerous weapon in the world sits on your shoulders.  Anyone who inhabits this site is a potential weapons designer.  I believe that screw drivers have already been repurposed to do violence.  What about ice picks?  Bombs from fertalizer?  I think we should ban tool using all together and go back to the trees.

  46. Jason Gullickson says:

    Just thought I’d point out http://www.weaponiverse.com/

  47. Jason Gullickson says:

    Just thought I’d point out http://www.weaponiverse.com/

  48. stevepoling says:

    Well guys, do you believe in free speech or not?

    A fellow has to recognize he’s not God and not going to be everybody’s nanny. Go back and look at the 1960s and 1970s what we believed and advocated then. Have we become The Establishment? When we infringe free speech we take upon ourselves the godlike task of determining what is and isn’t lawful speech. I don’t trust any of you guys, but you can trust me. Sure, you can trust me.

  49. Chris Romero says:

    When can I print a thermonuclear bomb?

  50. Chris Romero says:

    ;-)

  51. Chris Romero says:

    ;-)

  52. Chris Romero says:

    This topic is the reason China is taking away the USA manufacturing prowess.  Think China gives a rat’s ass about legality and morals?  

    Well, yes, but only if it impacts the profits.  Otherwise, build away!    

    The USA should have such an attitude instead of shooting ourselves in the foot all of the time.

  53. Chris Romero says:

    This topic is the reason China is taking away the USA manufacturing prowess.  Think China gives a rat’s ass about legality and morals?  

    Well, yes, but only if it impacts the profits.  Otherwise, build away!    

    The USA should have such an attitude instead of shooting ourselves in the foot all of the time.

  54. patentless says:

    if they ban, i will stop using it.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I think that the discussion is going in a more useful direction on the thingiverse page. The problem they are having is that the makerbot and thingiverse are being used by schools and kids. I think the discussion on Make: is not going in the right direction. I don’t think MakerBot has trouble with people printing just about anything.

    Bottom line the question is, can MakerBot market elementary and high-schools if they don’t moderate the content? I think that the answer is clearly no. It’s only a matter of time before people start sex toys and all kinds of stuff that would never go through quite nicely in a school meeting, or with parents. I think an alternate Thingiverse for kids would be better than moderating the existing thingiverse. This alternate thingiverse would probably be better suited, holding projects more interesting to kids and maybe having some input from teachers. It just goes with their open-sourced business model that anyone can pretty much put anything and print it. I think that if thingiverse starts moderating, they will loose their monopole as a thing host.

  56. A magazine is not a weapon. Making your own magazines (and have them work without failure) is a pretty daunting task. lots of measurements to consider. Isn’t making things for yourself what we are all interested in? As long as they are responsible and follow the law, then let them be. If they ban these guys I will certainly ban Thingiverse.

    1. Um.. you mean leave don’t you?

      I don’t think you’re in a position to pass down law…

  57. “Ray guns don’t kill Zorbians. Zorbians kill Zorbians” – Gary Larson

  58. Dethe Elza says:

    One of the (many!) subplots in Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon was uploading files explaining how to make your own weapons, so groups could fight back against their own governments if it became necessary (the character was inspired by the Holocaust). Since more people have been killed by their own governments than by all wars put together, that seems like a good idea to me. Bog knows there are easier ways to get your hands on a weapon than by printing it yourself, at least in the US.

  59. Ryan says:

    My guess is that whether thingiverse bans these types of uploads or not, eventually legistlation will step in and tell us what we can and cannot do.  Things are going to start getting interesting in legal aspects of 3d printing very soon…

  60.  weapons are not dangerous, people are.

  61. VRAndy says:

    While I’m all for strong gun control, it seems very weird to me that Thingiverse would edit for content.  Feels very contrary to the whole spirit of the endeavor.

    There are so many books in a public library that could teach you how to easily kill people if you were inclined to that way of thinking, and that hasn’t hurt their reputation as a “kid-friendly” public service.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Yes, they should banned weapons.

    I don’t want to see this site shut down because it violated some obscure law related to guns.  Also, considering the last 10 years, one wacko downloads, prints, and kills someone with a weapon from thingaverse, and not only may the site be shut down, suddenly its members are now seen as hostile, violent weirdos. This is not speculation: this happened to people working with bacteria after the anthrax attacks, even if they didn’t even work with dangerous strains.

    What I suggest, instead, is for the creation of a specialized weapon’s  site. Gun’s enthusiasts would be better at running that site in any case; they tend to be up-to-date on the weapon’s law, which is complex. By having a specialized site, it can also help to get the necessary endorsement from the NRA to defend it from the legal challenges that will come after the first person who commits a crime using a printed weapon. Because it will happen.

  63. Robin Flint says:

    This is going to sound weird, but I promise it’s relevant. . 

    An imageboard for the new My Little Pony was getting flooded with lots of risque images and outright porn.  They wanted to be friendly to fans who were squicked out by that kinda thing, but still allow people to post the questionable stuff.  The pictures were user-tagged and anything marked ‘questionable’ or ‘explicit’ was covered up with a warning image until you actually clicked it, but it could still get pretty annoying browsing and seeing page after page filled with ‘questionable’ or ‘explicit’.

    So what they did was, they set it so only people with (free, unverified) accounts could even see things with certain tags, and people without accounts could browse the pages without even a hint that there was naughty images to be found.  People who did have an account could set up filters to hide things with any tags they chose, if I remember correctly . . 

    Maybe Thingiverse could watch for things tagged with ‘adult-only’ or ‘weapon’ or ‘sex toy’ ;) and those things could only be viewed by people with a (free, verified) adult account?  UNverified accounts, verified accounts that are under a certain age, and people without accounts, would only be able to browse the unadult things.

  64. KhornePony says:

    but printable weapons are more expensive than regular weapon. And it is pretty easy to do a DIY weapon for a cheap (a tube, some soldering and that’s it).

    So those weapons made with 3d printer by any means will be utilized by criminals / terrorists.

  65. George Carlin said it best when he said “You can kill a man with the Sunday New York Times. If you really care.”. If we were to ban everything that can be used as a weapon, we couldn’t even print chop sticks.

  66. kentkb says:

    Weapons do not kill people, people kill people. That being said, where is the moral high ground? If a baby chokes on a fast food toy should we band the making of anything that a child can choke on? ( please parents be present with your young children )
     I can only speak for myself, and I want access to everything, it is my choice how I use that knowledge. Let us band everything that can kill people:
    War.
    OK?
     I think that bad people will do bad things no matter what they can print in 3D.
    Thingiverse needs to decide the rules for Thingiverse.

  67. michael ellis says:

    This is largely a moot point that will inevitably be resolved by a change in technology.  Right now Thingverse is a fast and cheap way to turn a 3-D model into a useful physical object.  As much as I love Thingverse and think their business model is innovative, it is also very short term.  3-D printing technology for the desktop is progressing rapidly.  In a couple of years I have no doubt that anyone who wants to do 3-D prototyping will be able to afford it.  Even now RepRap and MakerBot are affordable enough for most people who really want one.  Weapons have been made by humans since the beginning, so banning them wont stop them from being made.  That being said, I understand why Thingverse may be worried about allowing people to produce weapons on their platform.  The government has a habit of allowing these kind of borderline issue to go on, sometimes for years, then without warning crack down severely.  Just look at recent tactic of the FDA in raiding health food stores and raw milk producers.  Better safe than sorry.

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