PROSTEP | Newsletter

Additive manufacturing using blockchain technology experienced live

By Martin Holland

Additive manufacturing processes and blockchain technology are currently seen as disruptive technologies. What is the background? Would you like to experience live how to make 3D print data available securely using blockchain technology? Then come to the Hanover trade fair, where PROSTEP, together with partners, will be presenting an initial prototype of the security solution developed within the framework of the SAMPL project.

Additive manufacturing processes allow components like prototypes and spare parts, for example, to be produced quickly, but they also raise a number of security and copyright-related issues. It must be possible to guarantee that only authorized persons have access to the data, that only the original data is printed, and that this data cannot be misused to manufacture pirate copies following its authorized use, especially when it comes to security-critical components.

The demonstrator for the Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform (SAMPL), which PROSTEP will be presenting together with other partners from 24 to 28 April at the Hanover trade fair, shows how 3D print data can be better protected. Interested parties will be given the opportunity to have a component printed in 3D and to follow the route the data takes and see how the blockchain technology is utilized all the way through to the finished component. Use your "license" for secure 3D printing on a certified printer and take your printed part home with you.

Make an appointment now to ensure that we have plenty of time to answer any questions you might have and that you are able to print your part. The person to contact is Dr. Martin Holland. You can reach him by telephone at +49 (0)511-54058100 or via email

SAMPL is a consortium project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The aim of the project is to develop an end-to-end security solution for additive manufacturing that covers the entire process from creating the digital 3D print data to exchanging the data with 3D print service providers and their trusted 3D printers through to tagging the printed components using RFID chips. (See ) The foundation for the platform is provided by the data exchange solution OpenDXM GlobalX, in which PROSTEP has integrated a digital license management component based on blockchain technology. Blockchain is a method best known from the world of finance, where it is used to verify the authenticity of digital payment transactions. It can, however, also be used for transactions like issuing licenses.

The consortium comprises PROSTEP as lead, the Hamburg-based companies NXP Semiconductors and consider it, 3D MicroPrint in Chemnitz, the University of Hamburg, the University of Ulm, Harburg Technical University, the Frauhofer Institute ENAS in Chemnitz and the associated partner Airbus. The aircraft manufacturer has, among other things, specified the requirements and use cases for additive manufacturing. NXP provides the secure elements for the 3D printers and the RFID chips for this application. The basic blockchain implementation is being done by the company consider it. The university partners are involved in developing the security and blockchain architecture and will work on integrating the project results into teaching in particular.