On the Applicability of 3D Digital Watermarking for 3D-Printed Models Intellectual Property Rights Protection

  • Benoit Macq
  • Mireia Montanola Sales
  • Rondao Alface P.

The potential of 3D printing to revolutionize manufacturing is becoming today a reality. Also referred to a class of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, 3D printing enables mass customization and manufacturing of device components, parts of houses, human organs and even food. It reduces production costs, manufacturing time, and necessary storage space. Due to this success, the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for 3D printed models raises increased concerns. Among technologies enabling copyright protection, traitor tracing and authentication, 3D watermarking has received a lot of interest from the research community in the context of 3D digital models. In this paper we give an overview of the state of the art of 3D digital watermarking and we assess how it could be extended for ensuring the IPR protection of printed 3D models. By considering 3D printing and scanning as an attack, we evaluate the potential of state-of-the-art watermarking techniques to provide both robust protection and also high fidelity as the introduced shape perturbations should not impair the mechanical properties or functionalities of the printed 3D model.

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