Come and Take It

3D printed plastic, pine, foam

Come and Take It – Artist Statement

In 2013, files for the fully-printable gun were released onto Thingiverse, an open-source 3D file sharing platform. The Liberator files were downloaded over 100,000 times in 24 hours before getting taken down. While they are no longer on Thingiverse (the site is run by MakerBot, a leader in desktop 3D printers who didn’t want the gun affiliated with their brand), the files are still available on other sites are free and legal to download. Cody Wilson, the creator of The Liberator, is a self-proclaimed “digital anarchist” who believes in the freedom of information. This concept is fascinating – particularly in the apt way it enters the broader discussion of open-source software and data sharing that has become a core value of digital makers, innovators, researchers, and students. Now, years after the original release, there have been countless downloads, remixes, and uploads of new models and designs. Gun enthusiasts have made arguments for the continued availability and production of the designs while opponents raise higher concerns as 3D printing continues toward ubiquity and demand regulation.

Come and Take It, which was composed of the 16 parts to assemble the Liberator, the first fully-printable 3D gun file and named after the popular slogan of gun rights advocates and the title of the Liberator inventor’s autobiography. Each part was printed out of plastic filament costing less than $20 total. The display, arranging each piece in order of size in a custom gun case with foam cutouts to hold each one, offers an iteration of a continued exploration in the deconstruction of these deadly objects.