Though Indiegogo has largely been the go-to campaign site for non-artistic endeavors and bullied bus monitors, it turns out that there actually are some projects that the site will not allow. Forbes reports that a group of 20-somethings called Defense Distributed collaborated on a campaign called the Wiki Weapon Project to develop open source blueprints for a gun that can be made with a 3D printer.
According to the Indiegogo campaign, accessible now only through Google cache:
The WikiWep project is to produce a CAD file for distribution and sharing across the internet. This CAD file will be a schematic for a modest, 3D printable plastic firearm. In a world where 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous and economical, defense systems and opposition to tyranny may be but a click away… Let’s pull the world toward this future together.
Defense Distributed isn’t the first to consider using a 3D printer to break into the arms market. Last month, Betabeat reported on a gun forum poster who claimed to have built the world’s first functioning 3D-printed firearm. The ability to manufacture weapons directly from the comfort of your home could be the first step into the 3D printer vice market. Stratasys-printed meth, anyone?
Indiegogo, meanwhile, seems determined to stay out of the debate, simply listing “unusual account activity” as the excuse for freezing the page. Defense Distributed had raised $1,708 of its $20,000 goal, and switched to accepting Bitcoin donations following the campaign’s shuttering.
In recent weeks, crowdfunding has certainly gone from a feel-good way to fund your high school dream of making an artsy documentary to a source for financing humanity’s more violent impulses. Earlier this week, Kickstarter suspended a Kony-esque campaign soliciting money to send its creator to fight in the Syrian resistance.
Turns out crowdfunding has a darker side, and it has nothing to do with disgruntled backers.
We’ve reached out to Indiegogo for comment and will update when we hear back.