Additive Manufacturing Cyber-Physical System: Supply Chain Cybersecurity and Risks

Nikhil Gupta, Akash Tiwari, Satish T.S. Bukkapatnam, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Additive Manufacturing (AM) methods have become increasingly efficient and industrially viable in the past ten years. These methods offer the freedom of complexity to the designers and choices of localized and pull-based production system to the managers. These propositions of AM have been enabling custom manufacturing and are catalysts for rapid growth of additive manufacturing (AM). This paper analyzes the general characteristics of AM supply chain and proposes three AM supply chain models based on the specific nature of the industry. Our description of the models emphasizes on adopting an holistic view of the AM supply chain and therefore includes raw material, printer hardware and the virtual supply chain. Throughout the product life cycle of additively manufactured products, the interlacing of the virtual supply chain (digital thread) with the physical supply chain and their operations fundamentally make the AM process a cyber-physical system (CPS). Therefore, the technology brings along with it benefits of a CPS as well as a new class of attack vectors. We discuss the possible attacks (printer, raw material and design level), risks (reverse engineering, counterfeiting and theft) and provide an enhanced risk classification scheme. We contend that the traditional cybersecurity methods need to evolve to address the new class of attack vectors that threaten the AM supply chain and also discuss the nature of existing solutions that help in addressing the risks and attack threats. In providing an holistic view of the AM supply chain the interdependencies of the processes in the AM supply chain are presented and we elucidate the effects of local attack vectors on the entire supply chain. Further, we discuss the existing security measures to mitigate the risk and identify the existing gap in AM security that needs to be bridged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9026901
Pages (from-to)47322-47333
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020


  • Manufacturing technology
  • production engineering
  • risk analysis
  • supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Computer Science


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