VID: Cody Wilson Talks 3-D Printed Guns and Bitcoin

“Cody Wilson: Happiness is a 3D Printed Gun,” produced by Todd Krainin. About 28 minutes.

Original release date was April 18, 2014 and original writeup is below.

[youtube] “Legal encapsulation is not effectively possible,” declares Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, maker of the world’s first gun made via [“created with” instead? repetition of make/made is awkward] 3D printing technology. “So it’s fun to kind of challenge the state to greater and greater levels of its own hyper-statism.”

Last year, Wilson and crew unveiled The Liberator, a plastic pistol they created on a 3D printer [word order – makes it seem like the printer fired the shot, and we already know it was made on 3D printer so no need to repeat] that fired a shot heard around the world. Then they put the 3D-printing files (or CADs) up on the Internet for free. To folks interested in cutting-edge technology and decentralized experiments in living, Wilson’s gun symbolized an age of uncontrollable freedom. To lawmakers, it symbolized a threat that moved faster than, well, a speeding bullet. The State Department, in fact, shut down Defense Distributed’s ability to disseminate the gun files on the Internet, claiming the nonprofit was violating federal rules about exporting munitions.

A self-declared crypto-anarchist, the 26-year-old Wilson is fighting the situation in court—and relishing every minute of his battle with the government.

While he’s aggressively challenging restrictions on 3D-printed guns, Wilson is also working on an innovative Bitcoin project called Dark Wallet, which would further anonymize financial transactions on the Web, and a book intended to inspire a new generation of digital libertarians.

Reason TV‘s Todd Krainin sat down with Wilson at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

About 28 minutes. 

Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Paul Detrick and Alexis Garcia.

Among the topics covered (with approximate time):

How the State Department is shutting down Wilson’s 3-D printable gun business (3:58)

What it’s like to be surveilled by the Department of Homeland Security (8:50)

What is the Liberator 3-D printed gun? (11:00)

How printable guns will change the dynamic of political power. (14:30)

Will this challenge to the state lead to more personal freedom? (16:15)

How does the Internet break down the politics of gun control? (17:35)

Bike-powered 3D printer turns plastic cups into bike parts


Cycling is often seen as a universal pasttime, a sort of social leveller. So perhaps the bike-powered 3D printer is the perfect example of bringing technology to the masses.

Fabraft, a  a Taiwanese design factory, has created a bike-powered 3-D printer which breaks down plastic cups to make bike parts, with the aim being recycling plastic and making technology more accessible to ordinary people.

The Mobile Fab’s inventor and Fabraft co-founder Kamm Kai-Yu used open-source software to build a small 3-D printer, powered by the turning of bike pedals. The plastic cups are ground into powder ink, which is then ‘printed’ into a wearable medallion with a light attached, in a process that takes about two hours.

“We wanted to do something to bring both recycling and 3D printing closer to average people,” Kamm Kai-yu told Yahoo News.

Anyone can bring along plastic cups, widely used in the country for pearl-milk tea, to the factory and wait for their own trinket for free.

“We built everything from scratch using designs and instructions freely available online,” said co-founder Matteo Chen.  The engineers now plan to build a bigger version with more printing power, and one where the tools can be swapped over to perform other tasks, like laser cutting.

The whole project has been partly funded by the government in the run up to Taiwan’s stint as World Design Capital for 2016.

To see how it works, here’s a video:

Exclusive: Talking the Latest 3-D Printing Developments With Industry Insider FATHOM


Learn about 3-D printing from an industry insider.

In this 3-D printing themed video installment, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller sits down with Rich Stump of FATHOM, a highly experienced Stratasys reseller and 3-D printing service center. FATHOM began selling Stratasys-owned Objet printers in 2008 and began offering 3-D printing production services center in 2010. The company is headquartered in Oakland, Calif., and has service centers in Oakland and Seattle.

Topics covered include:

  • Why 3-D printing material prices won’t collapse anytime soon
  • Why Stratasys offers an unmatched technology portfolio
  • What growth opportunities are the most promising in 3-D printing today
  • Why it’s still too early for metal 3-D printing
  • How there could be a huge opportunity for 3-D modeling software companies
  • Why the consumer 3-D printing revolution is still years away
  • Why 3-D printing and conventional manufacturing will co-exist
  • Inside the mind of a 3-D printing service center
  • How 3-D printers can last up to 15 to 20 years and how it affects buyer decisions

1 must-own stock in 2014
There’s a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool’s chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it’s one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2014.” Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems, ExOne, and Proto Labs. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, ExOne, Proto Labs, and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems, ExOne, General Electric Company, Proto Labs, and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Steve HellerSteve Heller Fool Contributor

Covering 3-D printing at the intersection of business, investing, and what it means for the future of manufacturing. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with the ever-changing 3-D printing landscape by clicking the button below. Follow @3DFool


3D-Printed Ford Gran Torino Is the Muscle Car From Hell


Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

Walk through this year’s New York international Auto Show, and it’s clear that the current crop of cars are rapidly catching up with the concept vehicles of the future.

But one audacious 3D-printed car on display at the event, a Ford Gran Torino, looks like it just arrived from the underworld or an alien planet — and we doubt automakers will ever catch up to this kind of design.

Crafted by Ioan Florea, this “liquid metal” version of the 1971 Ford Gran Torino looks like it was touched Ghost Rider or peeled from the walls of an H.R. Gigerspacecraft.

Florea wasn’t on hand to explain his process, but luckily gave a recent interview with 3D Printer World. “The actual 3D printing is basic,” he said. “Design the shapes, slice them, generate the G-code and print them.

3D Printed Ford

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

“The complicated part is the transfer technique that I invented … I use a mixing mill that weighs around 12,000 pounds. It’s a multi-stage process that requires exact measurements, exact timing and ideal temperature conditions.”

3D Printed Ford

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange

His nightmarish vision of the old-school Ford muscle car is definitely a departure from the smooth lines present on most of the cars on display this week. But this inventive approach to car design could be a sign of some of the wilder customizations we’ll see on the streets in the near future.

You can get a closer look at the car in the gallery above.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Mashable, Adario Strange