(AM), also referred to as
, comprises a new class of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) able to manufacture 3D objects incrementally. Compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing, AM has numerous economic, environmental, and technical advantages. These include but are not limited to shorter design-to-product time, just-in-time and on-demand production, production in the proximity to assembly lines, reduction of source material waste, and particularly the ability to produce functional parts with complex internal structure and application area-optimized physical properties.
According to the Wohlers report, in 2015 the AM industry accounted for $5.165 billion of revenue, with 32.5% of all AM-manufactured objects used as functional parts. Geopolitical, socioeconomic, and other ramifications of this technology can provide a motivation for attacks. Because of their reliance on computerization, AM devices (3D printers) are susceptible to a broad range of cyber- and cyber-physical attacks. For instance, if a part is being used as a functional component in a safety-critical system like a jet engine, its sabotage could endanger human life and health, or generate significant economic impact.
So far, two major security threat categories (or attack targets) have been identified for AM on the intersection of the attack effects and adversarial goals: violation of Intellectual Property (IP) and weaponization of AM. The former aims to illegally replicate manufactured 3D objects and/or the manufacturing process itself. The latter aims to inflict physical damage, e.g., by compromising the manufactured part's quality or by physically damaging AM equipment.
and I are actively involved in the research on both these areas.
Security of AM is both a
research area. In order to address the challenges of AM research, my
and I collaborate with national and international partners who have expertise in all relevant areas. Our major collaboration partners in the U.S. are Auburn University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our major collaboration partner abroad is the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.