The Texas law student behind a project to build a fully 3-D printed gun has a new venture: a search engine for gun parts and other 3-D printable contraband.
In Austin this evening, Cody Wilson of the nonprofit Defense Distributed is announcing a new, for-profit startup called Defcad, which he envisions as a repository for 3-D printing blueprints that established 3-D printing sites won’t touch. He’s hoping to raise $100,000 over the next 30 days to make Defcad.com a reality.
The site would build on the makeshift database that Wilson and co. built at Defcad.org in response to Brooklyn-based MakerBot’s December decision to remove all designs for firearm components from the Thingiverse, its popular online marketplace for 3-D printed goods. Those included a blueprint for the lower receiver of an AR-15, billed as a way for people to put together a working gun without having to obtain a license.
“It’s still legal in America to make guns and have gun parts, but Thingiverse took those files down from its site,” Wilson told me. “So when we get to the interesting battles that are yet to come—DMCA takedown requests, physical DRM—we know those people will fold. That’s why we want to build this infrastructure early. And search is a viable way to do it.”