General Electric (GE) Files Blockchain For 3D Printing Verification & Tracking Patent
General Electric Will Be Using Blockchain Technology and Verify 3D Printing Integrity
It seems that General Electric will be using blockchain technology so as to verify 3D-printed parts in the supply chain process. According to a patent filing released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June the 21st, the application shows a method for integrating distributed ledger technology to 3D printing.
The main intention behind this system is to create a database that validates and verifies the manufacturing process. By using blockchain technology it is possible to create a manufacturing history that helps tracking and authenticating 3D-printed objects.
General Electric informed in the filing:
“It would therefore be desirable to provide systems and methods for implementing a historical data record for an additive manufacturing process with verification and validation capabilities that may be integrated into additive manufacturing services.”
This new system would be able to tackle challenges that exist in the current manufacturing industry. Those challenges are related with ‘lack verification and validation systems for ensuring that objects produced by the process are appropriately certified.’
For example, if there is a part that has been created using an additive manufacturing process, everyone with access to a 3D printer would have the possibility to reproduce that part. That means that users cannot verify if the replacement part was built using a correct manufacturing media.
This is not the first time that a company decided to register blockchain-related patents. There are important businesses that have decided to enter the blockchain market and improve their services. For example, Barclays filed two digital currency and blockchain patents that are related to the transfer of virtual currencies and blockchain data storage.
There are other projects in the market that combine the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and 3D printing.