Implications of Malicious 3D Printer Firmware
Moore, Samuel Bennett
Glisson, William Bradley
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The utilization of 3D printing technology within the manufacturing process creates an environment that is potentially conducive to malicious activity. Previous research in 3D printing focused on attack vector identification and intellectual property protection. This research develops and implements malicious code using Printrbot’s branch of the open source Marlin 3D printer firmware. Implementations of the malicious code were activated based on a specified printer command sent from a desktop application. The malicious firmware successfully ignored incoming print commands for a printed 3D model, substituted malicious print commands for an alternate 3D model, and manipulated extruder feed rates. The research contribution is three-fold. First, this research provides an initial assessment of potential effects malicious firmware can have on a 3D printed object. Second, it documents a potential vulnerability that impacts 3D product output using 3D printer firmware. Third, it provides foundational grounding for future research in malicious 3D printing process activities.