Additive manufacturing(AM) has firmly established itself as one of the marquee technologies of modern connected industry, and EOS, the leading technology and solutions supplier for the industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, has decided to extend its collaboration with Wibu-Systems, a world-leading powerhouse in digital asset protection and monetization.
Wibu-Systems and EOS teamed up for the development of a software interface to ensure the security of the last communication mile to the 3D printing system and the data preparation workstation and to provide effective means to safeguard the intellectual property of the owners of the parts. This API (Application Programing Interface) will enable Wibu-Systems and other Digital Right Management (DRM) vendors to connect their DRM solutions with EOS systems in a secure way.
EOS has long been a convinced and loyal user of Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter technology for protecting and licensing its proprietary software, an invaluable asset for its R&D intensive business. Its technology works at the frontline of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), making the vision of efficient and high-quality production on demand a reality, from rapid prototyping to production runs of complex technical parts and components.
However, secure devices and operating systems are not the only requirement for companies operating in the IIoT. The commercial users of EOS’ market-leading 3D printing systems want the same level of security extended to their own assets: Customers share their design, geometry, and especially process parameters for the AM build job, including their unique additive manufacturing know-how, with the manufacturing sites in charge of the actual production – often over wide distances and with only remote monitoring. They want to be sure that their components can neither be intercepted en route nor used for unauthorized production by manufacturing-as-a-service providers.
By cooperating with the encryption and licensing specialists at Wibu-Systems, EOS has found a perfect means to offer its users that level of certainty and control over their digital assets. The challenge was to create a comprehensive system that covers every link in the chain, from the digital design to the finished product. EOS has developed and released an API to automate and integrate the complete data preparation into the existing software landscape of customers and connect to the DRM system by Wibu-Systems. Files can be encrypted for secure transfer down to the individual 3D printer, and a secure counter is available to keep track of how often a file is used. With the new API supported by Wibu-Systems’ cutting-edge protection technology, EOS users can now protect the proverbial last mile in communication with the 3D printing system and monetize their designs with pay-per-print licenses. The system not only closes the last gaps in the chain; it becomes a true business enabler with new revenue streams for its users.
Ruediger Kuegler, VP Sales and Security Expert at Wibu-Systems, sees the partnership as a test case for IP protection in smart manufacturing: “Additive manufacturing is one of the keystone applications showing off the capabilities of the Industrial IoT: Flexible, responsive, and the global merging with the local. Data is its lifeblood, and EOS has made the right choice in using our technology to enable comprehensive protection for its digital assets.” Ruediger Herfrid, Product Manager at EOS adds: “The secure flow of data from CAD to print is the prerequisite for implementing new on-demand business models of our customers in additive manufacturing. With Wibu-Systems, we have found the right partner with whom we can reliably secure the last mile to our machines. This Digital Rights Management interface will be available to the entire EOS ecosystem and establish a wide range of DRM partners”.