Smartphones Can Record 3D Printer Sounds and Replicate The 3D Model

Nearly every machine has a distinct sound signature and that includes 3D printers with their multiple stepper motors. Thieves who are able to get physically close to a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer as it prints would be able to record the sounds as the model prints and then, by using sophisticated algorithms, reverse engineer that model and print it.

Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor of the Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology and College of Engineering-Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship at Tennessee Technological University and his team conducted a cybersecurity research project that was able to record 3D printer sounds as an object was printed and later replicate that model on another printer by performing a cyber acoustic analysis. A classification and regression model was completed on the audio recorded during the 3D printing process and G-Code data was created to attempt another 3D print.

Image Courtesy of Tennessee Tech University – Dr. Ismail Fidan

To date, according to the research paper and results, “Current security measures have focused on securing machines against cyber based attacks with cloud based resources and software programs. Nevertheless, attacks in the physical domain have also occurred… The physical component of AM machines opens up the system to vulnerabilities due to side-channels. Side-channels are indirect pathways that lead to the access of desired data such as obtaining G-Code from vibrational, acoustic, magnetic, or power emissions. Previous analysis of side-channels has been used to infer information about cyber domain data. Therefore, it is important to analyze these side-channels to better secure the system and prevent leakage of IP.”

Image Courtesy of Tennessee Tech University – Dr. Ismail Fidan

As other researchers have pointed out, these intellectual property risks are not far-fetched and present a real problem for additive manufacturing. Dr. Fidan and team are proving that it is possible to record and reproduce a 3D print. Built into that research, IP protection methods are sure to evolve. Keep track of Dr. Fidan’s work at Tennessee Technological University and its Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing) efforts.

Illustration Courtesy of Tennessee Tech

Additional Resources:

The University of California, Irvine reported on a similar research project in 2016: Bad vibrations: UCI researchers find security breach in 3-D printing process.

“The team, led by Mohammad Al Faruque, director of UCI’s Advanced Integrated Cyber-Physical Systems Lab, showed that a device as ordinary and ubiquitous as a smartphone can be placed next to a machine and capture acoustic signals that carry information about the precise movements of the printer’s nozzle. The recording can then be used to reverse engineer the object being printed and re-create it elsewhere. Detailed processes may be deciphered through this new kind of cyberattack, presenting significant security risks.”

A team at the University of Buffalo published Smartphone hacks 3-D printer by measuring ‘leaked’ energy and acoustic waves.

“Unlike most security hacks, the researchers did not simulate a cyberattack. Many 3-D printers have features, such as encryption and watermarks, designed to foil such incursions. Instead, the researchers programmed a common smartphone’s built-in sensors to measure electromagnetic energy and acoustic waves that emanate from 3-D printers. These sensors can infer the location of the print nozzle as it moves to create the three-dimensional object being printed.”

M-STEM 2017 Materials And Beyond!

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) hosted the 30th annual Materials in STEM (M-STEM) Workshop 2017 in Hampton, Virginia on November 6 and 7.  107 participants enjoyed two full days of active engagement in materials science. They came from community colleges, universities, teachers of grades 8-12, government, students and industry; all gathering at TNCC for professional development.

On the first day, there were hands-on sessions that included lab work in ceramics and glass, composite sandwich panels, water rockets, nanoscience and thermosets.

On the second day, participants chose one of three tracks for a six hour, hands-on workshop about 3D Printing, Solids – the Science of Stuff, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

  • In the UAS track, participants built a drone from a kit, practiced flying it through an obstacle course and gathered data they could analyze at the same time. The UAS Intensive was presented by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.
Image by Eliana Pesola
  • In 3D printing track, participants were introduced to the concepts needed to design, model and print a prototype or production item.
  • The Solids-the Science of Stuff track presented great ways to incorporate chemistry that were authentic, low cost and relevant.
Image by Eliana Pesola

The entire two-day M-STEM event is designed for practical application to ensure that teachers can replicate the experiments or projects in a classroom.

Details on the Keynotes:

Dr. Darrel R. Tenney, former Director of Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology at NASA Langley, who showcased some of the research on materials that has taken place during this 100 year anniversary period.

Dr. Magesh Chandramouli shared the second keynote presentation on virtual reality for active learning that was innovative, as he explained how low cost methods can be used to incorporate VR into the student learning experience. A great example of that was setting up a clean room virtually to teach safety strategies and protocols. Students then don’t have to worry about making a mistake or having to sneeze and requiring they reset the whole environment; they just keep going.

Tom Singer, Principal Investigator for the Guitar Building Project, was the lunch keynote.  He gave an overview of the program and an explanation of the STEM components in the curriculum.  He also shared several examples of students who have achieved better results in STEM classes as a result of their participation.

Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative Updates Additive Manufacturing Body of Knowledge

Additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, is changing on a near-daily basis. In order to stay current, and maintain a shared understanding of these constant shifts, the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative (AMLI) continues to update the Additive Manufacturing Body of Knowledge.

This Body of Knowledge (BOK) was originally completed by the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) along with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2013. The latest update was in 2016 and it is quite a feat.

What Is A Body Of Knowledge?

The formal definition of a Body of Knowledge (BOK or BoK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association.[1] It is a type of knowledge representation by any knowledge organization.

The 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK is a comprehensive overview of the current state-of knowledge in additive manufacturing, as well as areas that have been identified as important by a wide range of additive manufacturing professionals. The Additive Manufacturing BOK can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Inform the development of training and educational program content
  • Focus the design of intern and apprentice experiences
  • Establish the desired content of industry recognized certificate programs and certifications
  • Provide the structure for the development of detailed Additive Manufacturing BOK content and resources

Over 500 additive manufacturing professionals responded to the Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire. These results were tabulated and interpreted by members of the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative (AMLI). Based on the survey, the following changes were made in the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK:

  1. Terminology was revised to bring the Additive Manufacturing BOK in line with ASTM AM standards.
  2. The following four categories were added: Additive Manufacturing (AM) Materials (formerly combined with AM Technology & Materials), AM Technology & Methods (reflects the removal of materials to another category), AM Post-Processing, and AM Safety.
  3. The following categories were identified as additive manufacturing resources rather than Additive Manufacturing BOK categories, and were either removed or not added to the 2016 AMBOK though suggested: Careers in AM, AM History, AM People, and AM Entrepreneurship. This is not a reflection on the importance of the content in these areas, but rather an indication that the ideal placement of these categories is not within the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK.
  4. Key topics within each category were edited to reflect newly developed areas or areas not identified in the 2013 Additive Manufacturing BOK.

The Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire also explored areas of training interest and importance. The top five additive manufacturing topics for training interest and importance were identified as:

  1. New methods for AM design qualification
  2. AM materials – overall, new, and enhanced
  3. Scaling for AM direct production
  4. Electron beam melting
  5. Models for education and training/re-training design engineers

AMLI consists of Tooling U-SME, America Makes–National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM), the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). It utilized TEAMM’s Core Competencies for additive manufacturing technicians to plan content for training classes, certificate and certification programs, and ultimately develop Additive Manufacturing BOK-based resources including books on the topic.

A copy of the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK with specific changes, and summary data from the Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire is available for viewing and download here.

More 3D Printing Jobs Available As Industry Grows

3D printing continues to grow and gain attention in the USA and around the world. It is not only the technology that is catching interest, but the opportunity it presents for students and those wanting to enter a new career.

AM News highlighted some of these trends in our April 2017 post: 3D Printing and Materials Skills In Demand, but we also received an email about an article on 3D Printing Jobs from TEAMM Network member Ed Tackett, who heads the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (AMCC) housed at the University of Louisville campus – both organizations are TEAMM Network members. You can read more about the additive manufacturing training work that Ed and his team are leading. Thanks for sharing the article with us, Ed.

The article “Hot 3D Printing Jobs on the Rise” (link below) from Business News Daily starts out with stats on just how big the industry is expected to be: approaching $33 billion by 2023. Here’s the important part from the article for all those involved in training AM technicians for the future: “With that growth comes money and demand for talented people to control these sophisticated devices.”

The in-depth article points out the following nine areas that will see new jobs created or a peripheral boost from 3D printing (meaning we’ll need more people to teach 3D printing, for example from #5, within educational institutions; imagine that). We also know, for #5, that 3D is being incorporated into existing educational programs and current teachers are learning the skills need to increase technician training. While we are certain that TEAMM Network members could add a host of other opportunities to this list, it is a positive trend to see business media covering the topic.

  1. 3D design and CAD modeling
  2. Research and development (The article points out that R&D professionals may be some of the people who spot opportunities early due to their work with advanced materials.)
  3. Biological and scientific modeling
  4. Architecture/construction modeling
  5. Education
  6. Designers for law firms and legal professionals
  7. Aerospace
  8. On-staff experts
  9. Operations and administrative positions

Resources: Hot 3D Printing Jobs on the Rise by Andreas Rivera on September 14, 2017.

In closing, the future is bright for additive manufacturing. If you have a post or an article you see that ties into our work in technician education, please send it along to Robin Ballard here at TEAMM.

TEAMM Network Member Creates Additive Manufacturing Studio

As Additive Manufacturing, aka 3D Printing, gains momentum in various industries, experts predict there will be a shortage of trained workers. According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 9 out of 10 manufacturers are struggling to find the required skilled workers for 3D technologies and other manufacturing skills.

Dr. Ismail Fidan from Tennessee Technological University wants to bridge the 3D printing knowledge gap before it starts with a new “train the trainer” workshop called the Additive Manufacturing Studio aimed at STEM educators. The workshop is part of the National Science Foundation’s Additive Manufacturing Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub (AM-WATCH). It is funded by a grant that brings together the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM) housed at Edmonds Community College, Tennessee Tech University, and Sinclair Community College.

From the program overview:

The Studio shares with faculty how to conduct AM courses and corresponding lab experiences and provides an active and cooperative learning environment.  The class has been highly successful on a national level.  Integrate the latest 3D printing technologies into your STEM curriculum.  You’ll build a printer and work on a project in class.  And, as an added incentive, you’ll take that printer back to your institution for use in your own programs!

In July, 15 educators in Washington State attended a workshop at Edmonds CC’s Materials Science lab in Monroe Hall. Most of them were from community or technical colleges, but four high school teachers participated as well. They learned how to build and use 3D printers.

Members of each institution will work together to develop curriculum and educational materials, professional development activities, outreach targeting K-12 teachers and students, and other efforts. TEAMM is housed at Edmonds CC and funded by the NSF Advanced Technological Education directorate.

According to Mel Cossette, TEAMM’s executive director and principal investigator, 3D printing is an emerging technology that will eventually be used in every sector of manufacturing industry, from aerospace to medical.

In addition to the workshop training at Monroe Hall, attendees were able to go on a factory tour of the Fathom 3D Printing Studio in Seattle.

Learn more about Summer 2018 workshops by emailing Robin Ballard at robin.ballard@edcc.edu. Or you can keep tabs on the TTU AM-WATCH website.