A hacker could breach a company’s network, hack into a 3D printer, and alter operational details to produce defective products that could lead to a company going bankrupt.
This is a new type of cyber-attack described in a research paper called Manufacturing and Security Challenges in 3D Printing, funded by the Office of Naval Research and carried out by researchers from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
The research reveals that 3D printing, or AM (additive manufacturing), is just another means by which hackers could severely impact a company’s normal business operations.
In most companies today, if they use 3D printing for their manufacturing division, the process starts after a designer creates the object in a 3D computer-aided environment and ships a CAD file to the 3D printer’s operator.
The operator then runs the file on the printer and creates the object, which can be the company’s full product or just one of the product’s pieces.
The researchers say that these CAD files fail to include a very important detail, which is the printer head orientation.