UT law student Cody Wilson claims he is roughly three weeks away from printing his first gun using a 3D printer, a machine that creates solid objects from digital designs.
“It was the most ridiculous, amazing, ambitious thing we could think of,” Wilson said.
At a public discussion hosted by Libertarian Longhorns on Thursday, Wilson said he and his friends endeavored to create a gun design called “Wiki Weapon” that could easily be shared online and physically recreated using a 3D printer. While printing a gun with a 3D printer is not a new idea, Wilson said his goal is to improve the process by continually making the designs more accessible and the product more functional.
This is the first time Wilson has spoken publicly about why he began the project.
Wilson said he wanted to undertake a difficult project, revolutionizing gun printing, to show people that they can take direct and creative actions to accomplish their goals.
“Don’t just sit around like we have been doing for hundreds of years writing a thesis about the perfect utopia or something,” Wilson said. “Make it.”
A spokesperson for Stratasys, a 3D printer manufacturer, said the printers normally cost between $10,000 and $30,000.
Wilson said he has seen a backlash against his work from those who feel efforts to make such technology more mainstream could have negative side effects, and he claims he has even been labeled by some as a modern terrorist. Wilson said while he believes his efforts could create new problems, the technology he is creating is not something that could be controlled by the government because 3D printing will become too accessible to be regulated.
Within the last month, Wilson started three companies to further his work. He said he has been in talks with multiple companies interested in funding his endeavors, and his support has been growing, despite ideological objections to the work.
Hunter Cash, an entrepreneurship senior at St. Edward’s University, has recently been working with Wilson on the financial aspects of his project.
Cash said this growth and the controversial nature of the work is what prompted him to get involved. “It gets your name out there,” Cash said.
George McHugh, supply chain management senior and vice president of Libertarian Longhorns, said it was important for Wilson to speak at the University because of the relevance of his work. McHugh said in the future people will depend on 3D printers the way they depend on iPhones and microwaves now.
McHugh said the main idea he took from Wilson’s work is that action is required to produce a result.
“If you want to see change, you have to be the change,” McHugh said.
Printed on Friday, November 2, 2012 as: Student to uneil plans for innovative 3-D gun