After the events in Newtown, the gun control debate has taken on a new urgency. Suddenly 3D-printed firearms look a lot less like a thought-provoking experiment and more like a danger to the public–and Makerbot wants nothing to do with that.
CNET reports that just yesterday, it was possible to get the blueprints for the lower receiver of an AR15 semiautomatic rifle on Makerbot’s wiki Thingiverse. Today, there’s nothing but this listing where the downloads used to be. It’s part of a wider crackdown across the site on 3D-printed weapon parts.
A spokesperson pointed CNET towards the site’s Terms of Service:
Thingiverse’s Terms of Service state that users agree not to use Thingiverse “to collect, upload, transmit, display, or distribute any User Content (ii) that…promotes illegal activities or contributes to the creation of weapons, illegal materials or is otherwise objectionable.”
The company’s attorney made no bones about the fact that last week’s tragedy was the impetus for sweep of the site for offenders. He told CNET:
“We have always had the discretion to take action for policy violations. Recent events served as the impetus here to take immediate action (and there were several) and reiterate or emphasize the site’s focus on creative empowerment for products that have a positive impact.”
To his point, you can still download plans for a business card gun, space pirate cosmo gun prop or semiautomatic rubber band gun.