See what’s new on Tech Briefs, including a three-layer way of securing the growing number of 3D-printed parts being placed in today’s vehicles and airplanes.

Just one year ago, researchers from three universities demonstrated a way to hack a 3D-printed drone.

By getting a victim to open a compromised archived document, the teams from the University of South Alabama, Ben-Gurion University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design showed that an attacker could modify a printer’s stereolithography (STL) design files.

The engineers gave new, hacked instructions to the 3D printer: Make a propeller with holes in it.

The demo shows how the faulty propeller caused the unmanned aircraft to fall from the sky.

As leading automotive manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz announce the printing of metal truck parts and companies like GE develop a jet engine with 19 3D-printed fuel nozzles, engineers face a new challenge: verifying their designs.

Imagine the consequences of a hacked 3D-printed brake or plane part.

Dr. Raheem Beyah, a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has a three-layer way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

The first security “layer” requires the embedding of tiny particles into a standard filament. In theory, a user places the gold nanorods in select locations throughout the object. Beyah's technique creates a kind of “watermark” known only to the part’s creator.

The Georgia Tech professor spoke with Tech Briefs. Read the web-exclusive article: Three-Layer System Protects Parts from Hackers.

What do you think? Will this security method work? Are you concerned about the security of 3D-printed parts? Share your comments below.

Tech Briefs hosts a variety of valuable content highlighting 3D-printing trends. Here’s a look at some of my favorites, including a Q&A with the inventor of the stereolithography apparatus.

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