Leading 3D printer OEM EOS has entered into a Digital Rights Management (DRM) agreement with security technology specialist Wibu-Systems. Together, the companies have developed an API enabling Wibu-Systems and other DRM vendors to securely connect with EOS machines. Wibu-Systems ensures the protection of files from the design stage through to the finished parts. It also offers part manufacturers with the option to monetize designs with pay-per-print licenses.
Ruediger Kuegler, VP Sales and Security Expert at Wibu-Systems, describes additive manufacturing as a “keystone application” for demonstrating the potential of Industrial IoT. “Data.” Kuegler adds, “is its lifeblood, and EOS has made the right choice in using our technology to enable comprehensive protection for its digital assets.”
Ruediger Herfrid, Product Manager at EOS, adds, “The secure flow of data from CAD to print is the prerequisite for implementing new on-demand business models of our customers in additive manufacturing.
“With Wibu-Systems, we have found the right partner with whom we can reliably secure the last mile to our machines.”
The “last mile” in 3D printer communications
EOS has been implementing Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter protection, licensing and security software in its digital solutions for some time. With it, the company safeguards against third party attacks; licenses its own software to users; and protects programs from piracy or reverse engineering.
Building on this premise, the new agreement extends to the proverbial “last mile” of 3D printer communications pertaining to the protection and monetization of intellectual property (IP) in part design.
Together the partners have developed a system that covers every link in the digital supply chain “from the digital design to the finished product.” This includes an API that automates and integrates secure data preparation into EOS’s existing software. As described by Wibu-Systems, “Files can be encrypted for secure transfer down to the individual 3D printer, and a secure counter is available to keep track of how often a file is used.”
The 3D printing security landscape
Due to the digital nature of additive manufacturing, security has become a topic of concern for both the industrial and personal 3D printing communities. The cutting-edge Forge Lab at GE Research recently developed a quantum-secure blockchain network for additive manufacturing. Companies like Identify3D and LEOLane have also begun to bring their solutions to the table, and policymakers are keeping a keen eye on the technology for the potential impact it could have.
According to Herfrid, “This Digital Rights Management interface,” developed by Wibu-Systems “will be available to the entire EOS ecosystem and establish a wide range of DRM partners.”
Featured image shows a factory of EOS machines. Photo via EOS.