General Electric (GE), the global conglomerate has filed a patent application for using the technology of blockchain in validating and verifying 3D printed objects on their supply chain. The application which was filed in December 2017 and released by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office last week, discusses methods for implementing a distributed ledger system into additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing.

Since time immemorial, manufacturing has largely remained a process that requires copious amount of resources – financial, land, and human capital. But with the concept of 3D printing coming into mainstream contention, manufacturing is no longer a process exclusively reserved to the select few.

3D printers cost a fraction of what conventional machines cost, but still can create molds with high precision and detail. This has led to a situation where anyone with a 3D printer and a design blueprint could turn out products en masse and release it into the market.

As the industry does not currently have a certification body that could regulate the quality of products being sold, it gets incredibly hard to handpick the good ones from the rest. The significance of the situation grows when the products in question need to be used as replacement parts in industries.

In a well-oiled mechanical process, sabotaging the quality of even a single moving replacement part would bring the whole industry to a halt. GE lists this problem to be one of its primary motives for the patent. Read more from…

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