Remember the world’s first 3D-printed gun that surfaced last week? You’d better, because soon it could be everywhere.
The blueprints for this fully 3D-printable gun, the Liberator, have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. The files for the 3D print, released by makers Defense Distributed, have turned out to be several times more popular than anything else the group has previously released to the public. “This has definitely been our most well-received download,” Haroon Khalid, a developer, was quoted as saying by Forbes. “I don’t think any of us predicted it would be this much.”
Here's the Liberator
The controversial gun-printing group joined hands with another notorious Internet personality, Kim Dotcom, and the files are hosted on the latter’s Mega cloud storage service. Since then the files have been uploaded as torrents on several file-sharing website, nullifying the original intention of keeping them on the ultra-secure Mega servers. Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, said the group identified with Dotcom’s own legal troubles. “We’re sympathetic to Kim Dotcom,” says Wilson. “There are plenty of services we could have used, but we chose this one. He’s down for the struggle.”
Not surprisingly, users in the USA have downloaded the files most number of times, with users in Spain, Brazil, Germany and the UK making up the rest of the majority. Of course, just because it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times doesn’t immediately mean widespread use of Liberator or the likes. Defense Distributed’s 3D printer, the Stratasys Dimension SST, came for $8,000 – and that’s the cost for a second hand model! So it isn’t exactly mainstream yet, but as more and more 3D printers are being sold through retail, it certainly presents a challenge for authorities and gun control advocates.