Nov 2, 2016 | By Alec

Stranger Things design by Nuttavut Baiphowongse

CAD file ownership has always been a tricky issue within the 3D printing community. On the one hand, we are big supporters of open source file sharing through Thingiverse and other platforms – it’s how so many of us earned our 3D printing chops in the first place. While its benefits are obvious, open source sharing is also lethal to various business models, and is a big reason why many large companies are hesitant to enter the 3D printing business. What’s the point of building a 3D modeling business if your files are easily stolen and shared throughout the world?

That’s why we also support copyright ownership. Should you choose to share your private files online with an open source license, great. But at the same time designers and companies should still be able to choose to not share their designs with the world. Nonetheless numerous companies, especially game developers, are increasingly faced with 3D file theft, in which their servers are being hacked, 3D files are stolen and distributed (or even sold) and copyrights are being infringed. BMW is currently suiting Turbosquid for selling 3D models of their car designs, while it was revealed that indie game Solbrain Knight of Darnkess stole 3D assets from various artists. Even 3D designs from Blizzard’s hit game Overwatch were stolen and used in porn.

But a solution is on the horizon. In an attempt to protect artists of all sizes and secure files, Dosa Kim, Chloe Kettell, and Partha Ray have launched the startup D3CRYPT3D. Their new beta software of the same name provides an easy medium for safeguarding 3D assets and intellectual property. Focused on encryption, D3CRYPT3D will immediately alert 3D designers if unauthorized parties seek to access their files and products. At the same time, any attempt to access these protected files will generate a calling card that features the original artists’ contact information and thus promotes legal channels for accessing 3D files. The beta software is now available.

As Kettell explains, this fantastic concept grew over a bottle of whisky in Los Angeles, when the three software specialists were neighbors. “Fast forward six months, and we are now working out of Dosa’s family’s old linens factory in Chamblee, GA.,” Kettell added. They are also building on their own experience. Dosa has worked in the VFX and 3D industry for over a decade, witnessing firsthand what it’s like to have 3D data stolen or to receive absolutely no credit for their work. Partha has previously extensively worked on computer forensics, and also founded an eDiscovery and forensics company.

Though still in its beta, D3CRYPT3D is very accessible. “Encrypting your files is as easy as dragging and dropping them into the D3CRYPT3D application and clicking the encrypt button! You can drag entire folders of files or one file at a time. Once you have encrypted your file, tracking and protection are now enabled,” the developers revealed. “The file type remains the same and can be opened in its native application, even in an encrypted state.”

For those of you wondering what the difference is between D3CRYPT3D and Winzip or 7-Zip, there is a vital difference. When using D3CRYPT3D, you are still able to open the file in its native application, while the file type is unchanged. “In addition, asset tracking metrics are embedded in the encryption which allows for tracking throughout the lifecycle of the file,” the developers add.

Several other features are still under development – including a web-based platform. Among others, the designers are also seeking to incorporate more calling card features and real-time asset tracking. A complete version (patent pending) is expected to be finished early in the new year. Though these are all features that the wider 3D printing community can benefit from, D3CRYPT3D is especially beneficial to professional 3D designers from the video game and special effects sectors. Stranger Things designer Nuttavut Baiphowongse is already using it. Can we finally start sharing 3D designs without having to worry about theft?



Posted in 3D Software



Maybe you also like:


free_dex wrote at 4/2/2017 8:38:35 AM:

Free and open-source models are fuel for 3d printing sector. DMR protection need big players on the market becouse loosing when people may buy 250$ 3d printer and easy download and repair objects. M$ want add DMR becouse want add same ecosystem like is iStore/Android Play store small amount of money for all!

Charles wrote at 1/23/2017 4:49:30 AM:

That may help prevent theft and prevent others from getting deterred from creating by the possibility that someone might steal their intellectual properties. I have seen a couple Youtube videos in which the authors of such videos have discussed the topic of theft of their 3D models on Thingiverse. It would be a shame to see 3D printing dissapear because of fear of thefts such as these. It would be one thing if they had only used the 3D models to make their own objects but not for sale of profit without the permission of their creators. I wonder how closely it relates to plagiarism because when they do sell the objects, there is no mention of whose work it was to draw or scan the object. If I had a 3D model, I would at the very least ask to be given credit for that even if I didn't demand payment for its use.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive