Compromised Additive Manufacturing Supply Chain Workshop Report

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The potential widespread adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) technology represents a marked shift in the production value chain. This shift represents a transition from value residing within the physical parts and structures, built from traditional designs and fabricated using conventional manufacturing to systems and components produced via additive manufacturing processes, wherein the value resides in the digital technical designs themselves, e.g., technical data packages (TDPs). While the ability to produce parts and structures anywhere there are appropriate facilities and personnel provides great flexibility in the production process, the increasing reliance on digital data creates new challenges and complications (and new opportunities for malicious actors). Breaches of the data systems exchanging proprietary technical data packages enable anyone with access to the data and the appropriate equipment, to manufacture copies of the proprietary parts or structures and steal the intellectual property associated with the data package. Moreover, with the advent of affordable laser scanners, parts can be more readily reverse engineered to replicate the geometry (form & fit), but not necessarily function. These compromised parts could, in turn, be introduced into the supply chain, either for financial gain or other malicious purposes, without the requisite production controls (materials and processes), testing, evaluation, and qualification, leading to potential safety and liability issues. This Workshop focused on the unique issues posed by compromised AM parts and components and how they can be mitigated.