Fabrication startup MarkForged has excited many by developing the world’s 3D printer, the Mark One, that can produce items using carbon fibre; a material as light as plastic, but as tough as metal. US political group Defense Distributed were one such enthusiastic party, with organisation founder Cody Wilson placing a pre-order of $8,000 for the 3D printer.
However, after Wilson boasted about how he was to use the device to construct firearms, MarkForged cancelled his order, citing terms of service that forbid private citizens from using the printer to build guns. Now, Wilson has posted a video to YouTube, offering a $15,000 “bounty” to anyone who can get him a carbon fibre printer. In it he says, “I’m going to get this printer. I’m going to make a gun with it. And I’m going to make sure everyone knows it was made with a MarkForged printer.”
Defense Distributed has a history of trying to procure 3D printing technology to make its own firearms. The group had a firearm 3D printing fundraiser banned from IndieGoGo back in 2012, while Stratasys has refused a request from them to hire a 3D printer that it intended to use to manufacture guns.
MarkForged insists that, had the company known who was trying to purchase one, it would have denied the pre-order immediately, telling WIRED, “Our website automatically took Mr. Wilson’s pre-order, and we certainly regret that we did not catch this sooner. We are expediting his refund with interest.”