Thoughts on our policy on 3D printing weapons


There has been a lot of buzz about 3D printed weapons lately, and sure enough we have received an increasing number of weapon part uploads and orders. When I say 'weapon' I pretty much mean gun — everything from the complete parts of the Liberator pistol to the lower receiver of an AR 15.

3D printing weapons is a sensitive issue because it mixes one's convictions on so many things: information sharing, the Second Amendment, violence, moral discrimination, etc. So far as we know, all of the B2C companies in the 3D printing industry have taken an absolutely-no-weapons stance on this topic. It's important for us to have a clear policy on 3D printed weapons, and we'd like to get your thoughts on our current policy:

We do not prevent anyone from using our service to create any parts that we (A) can legally manufacture and (B) can be used in a lawful manner, for the following reasons:

1. Our service is provided in good faith that our customers will be using their product in a lawful manner as outlined under "General Responsibilities" in our Terms of Use: http://www.ponoko.com/about/terms-and-conditions.

2. We are not gunsmiths - firearm components come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and it's very unlikely we would know such a part if we saw it.

Things we cannot print include brass knuckles, ATM skimmers, lower receivers or other weapon components that require a firearm manufacturing license, or any other items that do not meet points A and B as stated in the first line of our policy. We reserve the right to cancel and refund orders that violate our policy.

What do you think of our policy? Do you think Ponoko *should* make the decision to forbid all weapon parts to the best of our ability? We think it's inevitable that the physical form of weapon components will become unrecognizable as such; how do you think we should handle that? 


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