How 3D printing company Dagoma distributed misinformation so that 3D printers printed faulty guns

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How 3D printing company Dagoma distributed misinformation so that 3D printers printed faulty guns

The Background

Dagoma is a French 3D printing company. It wanted to be famous. This campaign did just that.

But, unusually I think, it did it by confronting a category negative and doing something about it.

It deployed the skills and talents of its people to make a difference in the spirit of enlightened self-interest!

The Big Idea

The internet is awash with thousands of templates that enable just about anyone with the hardware to 3D print guns.

Unmarked, untraceable, extremely dangerous.

The French 3D printing company, Dagoma, decided to do something about it.

So it decided to find – through crowd sourcing from its own community of fans and followers – the files for these deadly weapons and download them before altering the files themselves to render the resulting weapons harmless.

Effectively making 3D printing guns a wholly frustrating and expensive experience for those trying to make their own.

What They Did

First, it appealed to the right-thinking members of the 3D printing community and asked them to share the files available on forums, chat sites and internet communities that would enable people to make weapons at home.

It then used its own team to alter these files – making a barrel too small, altering a trigger so it wouldn’t work. Making changes too small to be immediately apparent. But an expensive “error” for those who tried to use these files.

Having done so, it then seeded the doctored files, with all of the same names and markers, back into the places where they were found, indistinguishable from the original.

Sometime later it found that the files had been printed and replicated thousands of times and that they had been re-shared across the web. There were hundreds of people who complained that the resulting “weapons” were useless, creating a culture of mistrust in the forums themselves.

The Review

In a world awash with purpose and social cause campaigns, this struck a nerve with me because Dagoma was willing to confront its own negative side effect. 

And do something about it. 

It also resonates because the whole thing is, at one level, so massively geeky and, on another, appeals to any right-thinking individual who knows nothing about 3D printing technology.

Another five star review for some inspired creative work that many may have missed, and needs talking about!

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James Gordon-MacIntosh

James Gordon-MacIntosh

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