Okay – now I’ve heard everything – or have I?
3D printing is all the rage. But the latest fear in the industry is that confidential printed designs can be duplicated by merely listening to the 3D printer as it’s running.
3D printers have opened up all kinds of possibilities when it comes to turning digital blueprints into real word objects, but might they also enable new ways to pilfer intellectual property? Amid all that mechanical whirring, these machines emit acoustic signals that give away the motion of the nozzle, new research has found. And by discreetly recording these sounds, scientists say it is possible for sneaky characters to deduce design details and reverse engineer printed objects at a later date.
While the source code for 3D printed designs can be guarded through encryption and regular means, once the machine is swung into action that sensitive information may be compromised, researchers at the University of California Irvine (UCI) have discovered.