Securing additive manufacturing with blockchains and distributed physically unclonable functions

Bertrand Cambou, Michael Gowanlock, Julie Heynssens, Saloni Jain, Christopher Philabaum, Duane Booher, Ian Burke, Jack Garrard, Donald Telesca, Laurent Njilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Blockchain technology is a game-changing, enhancing security for the supply chain of smart additive manufacturing. Blockchain enables the tracking and recording of the history of each transaction in a ledger stored in the cloud that cannot be altered, and when blockchain is combined with digital signatures, it verifies the identity of the participants with its non-repudiation capabilities. One of the weaknesses of blockchain is the difficulty of preventing malicious participants from gaining access to public–private key pairs. Groups of opponents often interact freely with the network, and this is a security concern when cloud-based methods manage the key pairs. Therefore, we are proposing end-to-end security schemes by both inserting tamper-resistant devices in the hardware of the peripheral devices and using ternary cryptography. The tamper-resistant devices, which are designed with nanomaterials, act as Physical Unclonable Functions to generate secret cryptographic keys. One-time use public–private key pairs are generated for each transaction. In addition, the cryptographic scheme incorporates a third logic state to mitigate man-in-the-middle attacks. The generation of these public–private key pairs is compatible with post quantum cryptography. The third scheme we are proposing is the use of noise injection techniques used with high-performance computing to increase the security of the system. We present prototypes to demonstrate the feasibility of these schemes and to quantify the relevant parameters. We conclude by presenting the value of blockchains to secure the logistics of additive manufacturing operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Blockchain
  • Digital signatures
  • High-performance computing
  • Key distribution
  • Physical unclonable functions
  • Ternary cryptography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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