3D printing design theft could be sabotaged by secret flaws in CAD files

Engineer works with 3D printer in a darkened roomOnce 3D printing files have been stolen, nothing can stop the illicit production of objects indistinguishable from those made by the manufacturer. To prevent this, American researchers suggest embedding flaws into designs such that only under specific conditions are they neutralised.

In the past year, the 3D printing – or additive manufacturing – industry has grown nearly 26 per cent and is now worth more than $5 billion. 3D printing is used to produce prostheses, buildings, puddings and countless other objects of practically any shape imaginable.

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