30/10 9:59 | POSTED IN 3D Printing
3D Printing at the Heart of Democratization of Manufacturing Debate
The debate surrounding 3D printing and the democratization of manufacturing doesn’t seem to be waning as Stratasys goes for the big kill with the largest firearms-makers across the United States. This comes in the wake of the major 3D printing company leaving Defense Distributed in the dust after alleging that it was its policy “not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.” However, it doesn’t appear to have deterred Stratasys from fueling the debate around the democratization of manufacturing by flirting and even engaging with Knight’s Armament Company and Remington Arms, not to mention the Aerospace and Defense markets (its main selling focus).
After Cody Wilson and his team leased a Stratasys 3D printer in order to produce a plastic gun to be freely available online, he was taken aback when he realized after having the leased pulled that the direct digital manufacturing company was involved with other firearms-makers. To make a long story short, while legal issues seem to prohibit Wilson’s group from manufacturing guns, it is still possible for 3D printing giant Stratasys to turn around and market its products to customers that are not hindered by such problems. From that standpoint, it appears that Stratasys is making a run for it in the debate surrounding the democratization of manufacturing 3D-printed parts but it actually involves other legal aspects.
Be that as it may, this whole saga is certainly not over. Stratasys is going to pursue while Defense Distributed is likely to continue the Wiki Weapon Project with another partner.