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Security Program in the Works to Combat 3D Printing Piracy, and Gun Making

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A Japanese 3D-printing firm has created a new security program that aims to block the production of unauthorized and pirated 3D-printed products.

dnpDai Nippon Printing (DNP), which is among Japan’s most prominent 3D-printing companies, hopes its new software will stop people from manufacturing items that are illegal such as firearms.The software would also block the reproduction of copyrighted brands, characters and emblems. DNP also says the software can even accurately identify modified logos and designs, as well as objects printed by other 3D printers.

“From the data to the production at a 3D printer, this security program is designed to determine high-speed products that require permission or legal authorization, whether (black list products),” a statement from the company says.

Even though the software will have a database of information to look through to identify a match, DNP says that the program won’t diminish the performance of a 3D printer or slow down the printing process.

A graphic showing what Dai Nippon Printing's new software will be able to do.

A graphic showing what Dai Nippon Printing’s new software will be able to do.

According to DNP, the program works by putting STL data in control. By accessing a colossal database of algorithms, patterns, and raw 3D data, the program will be able to analyze STL file data from sources such as scanners, CAD/CAM designs and data obtained from certain 3D objects.

Though the internal features of the program have not been specified, DNP plans to show it at the Japanese Society of Printing Science this month. The company says it hopes that the software will be ready to use on a global scale by 2017.

Recently Japan arrested a man named Yoshitomo Imura for being in possession of five 3D printed firearms.  Imura claimed that he was not aware of any laws prohibiting the 3D printing of plastic guns, but agreed that if the guns were considered legitimate firearms, then his arrest may have been warranted.  Such a computer program will likely be able to stop those who are unaware that what they are printing is illegal, however those who really want to print a gun will likely find ways around the program’s defenses. What do you think?  Will there be a place for defensive software like DNP’s?  Will this make the world a safer place, or just give us a false sense of security?  Share your thoughts at the 3D printing software thread about this program.

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