Security features embedded in computer aided design (CAD) solid models for additive manufacturing

Fei Chen, Gary Mac, Nikhil Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The additive manufacturing (AM) process chain relies heavily on cloud based resources and software programs that are connected to the internet. Cybersecurity has become a major concern for cloud based resources. While network security is important and is the responsibility of the information technology departments of corporations, a second line of defense is necessary if the cybersecurity is breached and the computer aided design (CAD) files are stolen. The stolen CAD files can be used to print components in exactly the same quality as the original component. The present work aims at developing design features in CAD models that can be used for the purpose of security against counterfeiting. With the introduction of these features, only a unique combination of processing and printing parameters will provide a high-quality component and any other conditions will result in a defective or inferior quality component. The high quality part will print only under a unique set of STL file resolution, slicing conditions, part orientation on the print bed and the printer operating parameters. It is recognized that these features are not off-the-shelf technologies but represent design methodologies that need to be developed for the given component design and the desired AM technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182
Number of pages194
JournalMaterials and Design
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017


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