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Researchers Embedding ‘Exploded’ QR Codes Inside 3D-Printed Parts to Verify Authentic Prints | #3DPrinting #3DThursday @nyutandon

Nikhil Gupta, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and collaborators exploited the layer-by-layer AM printing process to “explode” QR codes within computer-assisted design (CAD) files so that they present several false faces — dummy QR tags — to a micro-CT scanner or other scanning device. Credit: NYU Tandon School of Engineering

This headline baffled me:

Researchers turn tracking codes into unclonable ‘clouds’ to authenticate genuine 3-D printed parts

I’m still unclear how a QR code is embedded within a 3D-print and can be accessed via a CT scan (I guess I was unaware that “micro-CT scanners” are a thing) – let alone that fraudulent 3D-printed parts is a potentially booming market – but there you have it:

The worldwide market for 3-D-printed parts is a $5 billion business with a global supply chain involving the internet, email, and the cloud—creating a number of opportunities for counterfeiting and intellectual property theft. Flawed parts printed from stolen design files could produce dire results: experts predictthat by 2021, 75 percent of new commercial and military aircraft will fly with 3-D-printed engine, airframe, and other components, and the use of AM in the production of medical implants will grow by 20 percent per year over the next decade.

A team at NYU Tandon School of Engineering has found a way to prove the provenance of a part by employing QR (Quick Response) codes in an innovative way for unique device identification. In the latest issue of Advanced Engineering Materials, the researchers describe a method for converting QR codes, bar codes, and other passive tags into three-dimensional features hidden in such a way that they neither compromise the part’s integrity nor announce themselves to counterfeiters who have the means to reverse engineer the part.

Read more here.


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