Opening for new memberships in April 2021, the SDAM Alliance is designed to accelerate success in Secure Distributed Additive Manufacturing (SDAM) development. The charter of the Alliance is to develop specifications, standards, and solutions that drive harmonization and interoperability for businesses worldwide.
The SDAM Alliance will be a global community of partners made of leaders, adopters, innovators, developers, and businesses with a shared vision to create enterprise-ready solutions and a global on-demand manufacturing ecosystem for the benefit of everyone.
Only by seeking commitment and agreement with most industry players on the nature of the Alliance, can the development of Secure Distributed AM be accelerated to support true compliance across the global supply chain. So, the Alliance Partnership is open to any company or organization that supplies or uses technology for Secure Distributed Additive Manufacturing systems and applications.
The aim of the Alliance is to expand the number of partners rapidly to provide collaborative clout and diversity. These goals will be explored through an initial research project that already sees the participation of 130 major AM industry stakeholders and will seek to evaluate the requirements of all relevant market parties from the creation of digital 3D printing data to 3D printers in end-to-end security chains.
The research project will comprise nine different sessions. The first one focuses on Secure Data Transfer, and the objective is to understand challenges and strategies for building a Digital Thread—a single, seamless strand of data that stretches from the initial design to the finished part—in order to scale and enhance AM capabilities.
Blockchain is a key element in this strategy and the project studies how it can support end-to-end Trust: in Ownership (IP & OEM rights), in Quality (Industry-Grade validation & certification) and in Transactions. This, in turn, leads to Certification & Quality Assurance: additive production consists of multiple stages, which must be monitored, assessed, and controlled. Qualification and certification standards open a feasible route to product certification.
Additional sessions focus on Knowledge & Research, through the contribution of subject matter experts, and software, looking at how the various software systems are building blocks to ensure the successful development of AM processes. The need for collaboration in the production chain is going to be crucial as AM deployment starts to accelerate.
In terms of the role of 3D printers, these are looked at special purpose computers, that thus suffer the same potential security risks as any computer, especially as they become increasingly networked. Secure Distributed AM starts with the secure transfer of data to 3D printers, in all possible locations and on-demand. This is achieved through a seamlessly integrated end-to-end digital solution including relevant manufacturing data. The right digital infrastructure—one that can store, access, and analyze vast amounts of data and interoperate across multiple different machines and processes—is crucial. Machining services information should not be siloed but integrated.