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:
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.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!