Researchers Develop PrinTracker to “Fingerprint” Each 3D Printer

Published by , October 19, 2018 1:25 pm

(All3DP) A research team at the University at Buffalo has developed a 3D printer identification system that can physically link a 3D printed object to its source machine. The group is under the leadership of Wenyao Xu, an associate professor of computer science and engineering. The team tested their system, called PrinTracker, against 14 3D printers, 10 fused deposition modeling (FDM) devices and 4 stereolithography (SLA). Each machine was made to create five typical door keys, which were then analyzed for imperfections.
“3D printers are built to be the same,” says Xu, “but there are slight variations in their hardware created during the manufacturing process that lead to unique, inevitable and unchangeable patterns in every object they print.” And that’s the key to PrinTracker: repetition. The aspects of a machine that cause it to produce imperfections one time are likely to do so every time. In this way, every 3D printer has a fingerprint.

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