Pathfinder Phase II: Securing 3D Printers in Manufacturing

Phase II of the Pathfinder project covers the implementation of the security measures that have been identified during Phase I for the evaluation a Markforged 3D printer. During Phase II, the project team will continue to expand and increase security in the manufacturing and use of 3D printers in order to provide assurance for the machines to connect to enterprise networks.


Currently, security requirements are not referenced or used as a guideline to validate compliance within additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing. While ample guidance exists for more traditional manufacturing processes through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other entities, there is limited to no guidance for end users to secure 3D printers.

Proposed Solution

The team will utilize Markforged’s X7 3D printer to implement the security measures identified from Phase I onsite at MxD. The team will also develop an additive manufacturing cybersecurity playbook addressing the Risk Management Framework Package: a NIST guideline consisting of standards and processes for risk management to help secure information systems.


The final goal is to develop a security approach that can be provided to the defense industrial base and its supply chain to enhance security in the manufacturing and use of 3D printers and for future connectivity to expand DoD’s capacity when required.