Together with partners, PROSTEP has developed a blockchain-based solution for the tamper-proof exchange of 3D print and process data and the unambiguous identification of printed components as part of the SAMPL project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The demonstrator for this solution will be exhibited at the Digital Technologies Forum in Berlin in 2021/22. The forum is a networking platform and exhibition space for selected digital technology research projects and innovations from Germany. The aim is to promote discussion and the transfer of knowledge between national and international actors from the worlds of business, science, and politics.
The Digital Technologies Forum’s showroom offers an overview of key developments from Germany in the field of digital technologies. It is currently showcasing interactive demonstrators involving hot topics such as augmented reality, digital twins, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and blockchain. PROSTEP set up the SAMPL demonstrator at the end of last year. Employees at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), which is in charge of the showroom, present the demonstrators to experts, political decision-makers, representatives from the scientific community and members of the press from Germany and abroad during guided tours.
The SAMPL demonstrator shows an example of how to create a trustworthy data transfer chain for additive manufacturing. This makes it possible for companies to send 3D print and process data to an external print service provider for the manufacture of spare parts without compromising the protection of their intellectual property. A key part of this chain of trust is the OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange solution as well as SAMPL-capable 3D printers, which ensure that only the licensed number of print jobs are executed. The solution also allows the printed components to be tagged using RFID chips or other methods for ensuring traceability and unambiguous identification.
“We are proud that the Digital Technologies Forum has chosen our SAMPL demonstrator to serve as an example of innovative research results,” says Dr. Martin Holland, coordinator of the successfully completed consortium project. “With the development of the Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform, we have pioneered the use of blockchain technology in a variety of different application areas.” PROSTEP has now fully integrated the blockchain module in its OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange platform so that it can be used for the tamper-proof exchange of any type of product or process data.
“Blockchain technology will dramatically change the way companies ensure compliance with contractual agreements in collaborative scenarios,” says Marc Reznicek from Fraunhofer HHI. “The SAMPL demonstrator is a good example of the application of technology in industrial environments and is sure to generate a great deal of interest among international visitors to the Digital Technologies Forum.”