The University at Buffalo has come up with a way to track prints back to the owner. They call it PrinTracker. They use a scanning method that is focused on your printers Infill setting. They believe that they can now start tracking down people that would use these printers for illegal endeavors.
As 3D printing technology begins to outpace traditional manufac-turing, malicious users increasingly have sought to leverage thiswidely accessible platform to produce unlawful tools for crimi-nal activities. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to identifythe origin of unlawful 3D printed products using digital forensics.Traditional countermeasures, including information embeddingor watermarking, rely on supervised manufacturing process andare impractical for identifying the origin of 3D printed tools incriminal applications.
Owing to the hardware imperfections in the abovemechanical components, the variation caused by the system inte-gration leads to a substantial impact on the printing . Whilethe printing performance might remain unaffected, these discrep-ancies are sufficient to alter the line formation of the printed objectand induce a unique and measurable fingerprint which is associ-ated with the mechatronic structure of the source 3D printer. Eachprinting process on a specific 3D printer is different; however, thefingerprint is consistent and repeatable due to the inevitability ofhardware imperfections in the mechanical components accordingto their processing level . We further illustrate the influence of3D printer variation on a 3D printed object in Section 3.
I’ve read through this and in time this could be very easily made to find people based on the prints they make. The cats out of the bag but I wonder about potential unintended consequences. Let me know what you think about this below.