GROW applied for its first patent in 2012. We then spent the next 3 years developing and improving the technology. We ran a successful proof of concept with our partners at EOS and Within Labs during 2014 and 2015, during which over 6,000 medical parts were manufactured from GROW files. GROW was able to encrypt the design files through the entire workflow proving that designs can be sent for remote manufacture without the design file actually being revealed to the remote site. We were also able to communicate parameter settings directly to the EOS hardware and produce reports at the manufacturing site to track and report each build.
Our technology solution maintains multiple encryption layers using RSA 3072bit asymmetric public-private keys, with a keyset pair for each GROW ready manufacturing hub. This means than any GROW file can only ever be used at the intended authorised location even if the file was publicly available or lost.
GROW technologies powered a custom integration solution with the EOS M270 and M280 machines for Within Technologies, now of Autodesk. The current enhanced edition of the GROW secure distributed manufacturing solution is integrated with the EOS M290 and M400 machines.
GROW is currently integrated with the Arcam Q10, Q10 Plus, Q20 and Q20 Plus machines. This integration is achieved through deep connections with the machine software and input tools.
Planned future integrations
GROW continues to work on extending integration with existing and future EOS and Arcam machines. We are also working with more Additive manufacturers to ensure that the GROW secure distributed solution is available throughout the Additive industry.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN ADDITIVE
As additive manufacturing becomes more viable for industrial production, manufacturers are turning their attention to the protection of the intellectual property rights in an Additive environment. This paper by IP lawyer and GROW director Ray Coyle, seeks to examine the IP rights that may be present in designs and other information that is routinely transferred and shared in the additive manufacturing process. Only when the designer of a product has a clear picture of the IP rights that he holds, can he make an informed decision about what technical, contractual and other measures to put in place to avoid unauthorised access to, and copying of, his designs.