Maintaining the digital thread – from augmented 3D printing to blockchain

June 5, 2018:

TCT Magazine has highlighted Identify3D as a leader in additive manufacturing software for maintaining and securing the digital thread. In Industry 4.0, the digital thread is a single, seamless strand of data that stretches from the initial design concept to the finished part.

Securing the digital thread will enable all engineered products to include a digitally-manufactured component, spurring innovation in how parts are designed and manufactured.

Read more about how Identify3D protects design data and tracks the lifecycle of an AM part below:

Over in San Francisco, another software provider Identify3D is working to enable the digital thread by providing security, manufacturing repeatability and traceability throughout the digital manufacturing process.

At RAPID + TCT in April, Identify3D claimed it wants to become “the shipping container for digital manufacturing”. What that means is, whilst everyone is familiar with the humble cargo box, unless you packed it or are the recipient, you have no idea what’s inside. Identify3D thinks of secure zip files in a similar vein. They can be packed with part and manufacturing information but only users with a specified license will be able to access it.

“Identify3D has developed a software solution that protects engineering and design data using the highest encryption standards and a system of licensing to ensure only authorised parties have access to the data they need to produce parts under specific manufacturing rules,” Stephan Thomas, Co-founder & CSO of Identify3D explained. “By enabling a secure digital thread that tracks the design, manufacturing, and deployment of parts along the digital supply chain, Identify3D provides customers with the exact knowledge of how, when, where, and by whom a part has been manufactured.”

With its Trace capabilities, Identify3D keeps a log of all information as it moves through the supply chain. Design and engineering data is protected from the get-go and teams can manage who can access their manufacturing files and even how many times. This can provide information such as how the file is to be manufactured and once it becomes a physical entity, can be traced all the way to the end user to ensure IP control and authenticity.

“The digital thread is what connects the flow of data from conception through the production and maintenance of a part. This requires interoperability between the systems that transmit and manage design and manufacturing data, creating huge vulnerabilities for cyberattacks on digital interfaces,” Thomas adds. “If the digital thread is not maintained or secured, it will compromise the integrity and traceability of the digital manufacturing flow resulting in increased risk of counterfeit, maliciously modified, poor quality, or uncertified parts from entering the physical supply chain.”

Some of the biggest AM players are already on board with the likes of SLM SolutionsRenishaw and EOS partnering with the start-up and more are in development including several pilot deployments with Fortune 500 companies.

To continue reading the full article, click here.


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