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Click, Print, Gun: The Inside Story of the 3D-Printed Gun Movement

March 25, 2013
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Source: Mother Board



Being a 3D-printing novice, I was once somewhat skeptical of the promise behind what's being billed as a truly game-changing technology. I saw Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis on the cover of Wired in late September, and while the novelty of the process incited wonder in my inner 10-year-old, I didn’t think much about it after the fact.

Enter Cody R. Wilson. Wilson is a 25-year-old University of Texas law student working to build semiautomatic weapons using 3D printers. His name first came up in conversation with a colleague after Wilson posted an Indiegogo pitch video demonstrating his intended use for a newly-acquired Stratasys 3D printer, which Stratasys subsequently repossessed.

I was intrigued. Wilson seemed to be an articulate and tech-savvy mouthpiece for a movement that a large portion of the country would deem dangerous and off-limits. To find out more about his fight against gun control, we flew down to his home base of Austin, Texas, where we first met Wilson at his apartment. I wasn’t sure what to make of him. He checked his phone every 10 seconds. He had a hard time making eye contact. Every other sentence ended with “Do you know what I mean?” He spoke on topics ranging from progress in the 3D-printed gun movement to American politics to the inherent revolutionary nature of bitcoins. 

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