A consumer’s guide to 3D printers

An almost-ridiculously thorough list of available 3D printers from Engadget. It’s amazing how many of these are on the market now.

There are a surprising number of companies and organizations currently invested in the space, be it through pre-fabricated models, kits or open-source, downloadable plans. We pulled together a list of some of the most prominent, which you can check out after the break.

via The shape of things to come: A consumer's guide to 3D printers.

DEFCAD

Well, this didn’t take very long.

Welcome to DEFCAD, operated by Defense Distributed. This site is a makeshift response to Makerbot Industries’ decision to censor files uploaded in good faith at Thingiverse, specifically firearms-related files. We are hosting as many of the pulled files as we can find.

via DEFCAD.

Thingiverse Removes Gun Files

In the wake of one of worst shooting incidents in American history, the 3D-printing firm Makerbot has deleted a collection of blueprints for gun components from Thingiverse, its popular user-generated content website that hosts 3D-printable files. Though Thingiverse has long banned designs for weapons and their components in its terms of service, it rarely enforced the rule until the last few days, when the company’s lawyer sent notices to users that their software models for gun parts were being purged from the site.

via 3D-Printing Firm Makerbot Cracks Down On Printable Gun Designs – Forbes.

3D printing with paper

via Make magazine

Here’s a really interesting new take on 3D printing that uses standard copy paper as its medium, cutting and shaping as it builds layer by layer. Obvious difficulties and advantages to this process, but one of the most interesting is featured in the second video…with the addition of some ink, you can easily do fully-color output.

Join EFF’s Efforts to Keep 3D Printing Open

EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society are working together to use this new process to challenge patent applications that particularly threaten growing 3D printing technologies. As a first step, we are evaluating 3D printing patent applications currently pending before the Patent Office to identify potential target applications. We need your help! If you know of any applications covering 3D printing technology that you think should be challenged, please let us know by emailing 3Dprinting@eff.org (and also point us to any relevant prior art you might know about).

via Join EFF’s Efforts to Keep 3D Printing Open | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

3-D Printer Company says “not with our machine”

The WikiWeapons/Printable Gun project seems to be drawing the ire of not only one of the largest 3D printer manufacturers in the US:

Stratasys’s legal counsel wrote back: “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes. Therefore, please be advised that your lease of the Stratasys uPrint SE is cancelled at this time and Stratasys is making arrangements to pick up the printer,” stated the letter, which Wilson posted to Defense Distributed’s website. The next day, contractors hired by the company arrived at Wilson’s apartment in an Enterprise rental van and took the printer.

…but also the ATF:

Wilson visited the ATF field office in Austin on Monday to ask about the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the Wiki Weapons project, he tells Danger Room. Instead, he was brought into a room, questioned and was told the agency was preparing to visit his apartment this afternoon for an “investigation,” he says. He added that the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area, but that he still needs to get licensed if he’s to manufacture a weapon.

This is going to be really, really interesting. Is it illegal to post instructions for a printable weapon? Where do those lines fall? The next 5 years is going to make these sorts of questions very troublesome…and just wait another 10 years until molecular-level printing is happening and see what that does for drug laws.

via 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith | Danger Room | Wired.com.