Research

Enabling Encryption, Authentication and Feature Search Function in Computer Aided Design Files

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (2019-2021)

Despite the strategic role that computer-aided design (CAD) files play in AM, designers develop, store, and use the CAD models as they do in any other manufacturing method. This study will research a novel method of imparting new functionalities in CAD models by converting them to the frequency domain using lossless algorithms. The frequency domain representation allows searching the files for specific design features of interest, which is not feasible in the current CAD file formats. Transformation to the frequency domain opens up possibilities for developing new compression and encryption methods. Analysis will be conducted to determine the fundamental principles that lead to lossless conversion of CAD files to the frequency domain and develop compression and encryption methods for the files. Wavelet transform and dynamic time warping will be among the methods used for implementing search functionalities. Dynamic window selection and scaling methods will be used to perform feature search with and without scaling of the object size. These algorithms are based on an exact match procedure and do not rely on tuning or learning the algorithm. The project will help industries that are using AM methods, for example, the aerospace, automotive, medical and military equipment industries. Development of these unique capabilities will by provide new capabilities for design, search, and security. The project will involve post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in the research. 

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An Educational Initiative on Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (2019-2022)

Additive manufacturing (AM), widely known as 3D printing, is the process of making three dimensional objects from a digital file. AM is enabling product innovation in a wide range of fields including automobiles, aircraft, spacecraft, toys, consumer products, food and medical implants and devices. A 3D printer is now located on the International Space Station to print parts on demand. Such high-value parts are designed by making extensive use of design, simulation and analysis tools, including high-performance computing, and make use of cloud-based resources throughout the process chain. In this project, New York University (NYU) is partnering with New York City College of Technology (City Tech) to educate students and to engage a wide range of stakeholders as the project builds capacity in the emerging field of AM security. The project will first develop an introductory graduate level course on AM security to be taught at both schools. This course will be part of a new Master of Science program and a new certificate program, both in AM. An on-line version of the course will also be offered. Complementing the course, the project will organize the HACK3D hackathon to build the security mindset of students for approaching digital manufacturing. In addition, the project will start an annual workshop and undergraduate summer research program in innovative research on the cybersecurity of digital manufacturing. The educational framework in this project will be first of its kind to address the security challenge in AM field by a collaborative team of a mechanical engineer and a computer science cybersecurity expert.

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 Integrated experience of additive manufacturing from lab scale to industrial scale

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (2020-2023)

This project plans to establish a summer research experience program between the USA and India. The focus of the project is on developing filaments and 3D printing parameters for new polymers and composite materials. An important component of the project is to introduce students to process scale up in the environment of a company that is a leading manufacturer of large print-bed 3D printers. Each year four undergraduate and two graduate students from the USA will travel to India for eight-week research experience at National Institute of Technology - Surathkal. In addition, six graduate students from India, will be supported by India, will be involved in the program. The students will spend seven weeks in India and the eighth week at NYU in New York for presentation of their research, feedback and evaluation sessions and follow up activity planning. Participation of City Teach will ensure the broadening participation of underrepresented minority communities in the project.

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Novel Pb Alloys Based Composite Foams Containing Hybrid of Fly Ash Microballoons Waste and Gas Pores for Light Weight Batteries

Sponsor: US National Academies (2019-2022)

The present project is focused on developing novel lead composite foams for use in the lead-acid batteries. Despite the simplicity of production and recyclability of the conventional lead-acid batteries, they suffer from low capacity and power, short life and heavy weight. This project will explore selected methods for inexpensive synthesis of novel Pb-alloys based composite foams containing hybrid pores with reproducible microstructures and superior properties to be used as electrodes for lead-acid batteries. The first type of pores has close-cell structure and is entirely contained within the fly ash cenosphere particles, which will be added into the Pb-alloy. The second type of pores is due to release of gas because of decomposing a blowing agent under the influence of heat. A combination of two types of pores will provide desired mechanical properties, surface area and lightweight. The project will include development and optimization of synthesis method and extensive characterization of the material as well as theoretical modeling and simulation to develop a correlation between microstructure and properties to obtain reproducible and optimized results.

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Reverse Engineering of 3D Printed Material Microstructures by Machine Learning Methods

Sponsor: Industry (2019-2021)

This project is focused using machine learning methods to conduct reverse engineering of microstructures of 3D printed materials. Reverse engineering a product in high quality requires not only reverse engineering the shape but also the microstructure. Use of machine learning methods on optical microstructures, scanning electron micrographs and CT-scans can allow reconstructing the tool path of the speicmen to build an exact replica. The project is considering several technologies, including fused filament fabrication (FFF or FDM) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) for tool path reconstruction of polymer matrix composites and metallic materials, respectively. 

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Innovative Design Strategies in Additive Manufacturing Techniques for Improved Security, Manufacturability, and Product Functionality

Sponsor: NYU Global Seed Grant Initiative (2016-2019)

Advancements in digital manufacturing have made it possible for a product to be designed in computer aided design software (CAD), analyzed and optimized using finite element software (FEA), and transmitted to a computerized additive manufacturing (AM) machine such as a 3D printer. This completely digital process chain has several vulnerabilities as documented recently in government reports and research articles. These vulnerabilities include incorrect final product dimensions or properties due to the modular approach to the design, analysis and printing stages; theft through computer or network hacking; or loss of information during various iterations of prototype printing and designing. In this project, we intend to explore a number of possibilities that can compromise the final product made through AM methods. The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Understand the limitations of CAD software and the current generation of 3D printers, and their impact on the final product
  • Develop new strategies for 3D printing parts that challenge these limitations (e.g. microscale features, micropatterned surfaces)
  • Use the software and process limitations for developing security features against intellectual property theft.