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hand gun - The Liberator

The Liberator

  • Object:

    hand gun

  • Place of origin:

    Texas (manufactured)

  • Date:

    May 2013 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wilson, Cody (Mr), born 1988 (designer)
    Defense Distributed (distributor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    ABS - digitally printed

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased by the Design Fund

  • Museum number:

    CD.40-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Texan law student Cody Wilson founded Defense Distributed to ‘defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution’. He created designs for guns and gun components that can be downloaded by anyone anywhere in the world and printed out on a 3D printer.

Wilson fired the world’s first 3D-printed gun, The Liberator, on 6 May 2013. The invention of this so-called wiki weapon sparked intense debate. It transforms the way we think about new manufacturing technologies and the unregulated sharing of designs online.

Design drawings for the handgun were downloaded over 100,000 times after they were released online on the day of firing. The files were seized by the US government a few days later and Wilson was ordered to remove them from his website. Wilson says of his work that he ‘never thought of it in terms of design’. The design and distribution of The Liberator is for him a political act.

Physical description

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene barrel and frame with a metal firing pin. The frame has visible impact damage.

Place of Origin

Texas (manufactured)

Date

May 2013 (printed)

Artist/maker

Wilson, Cody (Mr), born 1988 (designer)
Defense Distributed (distributor)

Materials and Techniques

ABS - digitally printed

Dimensions

Height: 88 mm

Descriptive line

The Liberator, first fired prototype, 2013, USA

Labels and date

Former Texan law student Cody Wilson founded Defense Distributed to ‘defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution’. He created designs for guns and gun components that can be downloaded by anyone anywhere in the world and printed out on a 3D printer.

Wilson fired the world’s first 3D-printed gun, The Liberator, on 6 May 2013. The invention of this so-called wiki weapon sparked intense debate. It transforms the way we think about new manufacturing technologies and the unregulated sharing of designs online. Design drawings for the handgun were downloaded over 100,000 times after they were released online on the day of firing. The files were seized by the US government a few days later and Wilson was ordered to remove them from his website. Wilson says of his work that he ‘never thought of it in terms of design’. The design and distribution of The Liberator is for him a political act.

On display is the gun used is the first successful test of The Liberator. Cody Wilson fired the gun remotely using wire looped through the specially designed hole in the trigger. The frame of the gun exploded whilst Wilson was testing different sizes of bullet.

The Liberator, fired
2013

Designed in Austin, USA
Designed by Defense Distributed
3D-printed Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic Printed on Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer Purchased by the Design Fund

Museum no. CD.40:1 to 2 -2014
[September 2014]

Categories

Rapid Response Collecting

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Design, Architecture and Digital Department

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