Cybersecurity Risks a Significant Threat for 3D Printing

Published by , March 21, 2017 12:31 pm

(DesignNews)  New research shows that 3D-printed products can be tampered with to create counterfeits and undetectable, devastating flaws.  Nikhil Gupta, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NYU Tandon says that the cybersecurity risks that come with AM are far more significant that common threats we hear about today. “The number one problem is you are creating a physical object that will be used in a system,” Gupta said. “This is not like a stolen credit card number that you can change quickly to avoid damage. In this case the product is created and being used in a system.”
Imagine a 3D-printed shaft breaking while someone is driving at high speed and you start to understand Gupta’s concerns. “Our emphasis in this paper was to show there could be certain small defects in materials, so small that common detection techniques would miss them, but they compromise the properties of these components,” he said. “Many people have shown [3D printers] can be hacked. As a materials scientist my emphasis was to show these tiny defects can be included that would comprise the integrity of the materials used.”

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