Additively Manufactured Prototypes for Hardware Technology Protection

S²MARTS Project No. 22-05

Coming Soon Notice: 1 April 2022 at 12:00 PM ET

Innovator NETWORX: 14 April 2022 at 1:00 PM ET


Thursday, April 14, 2022

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET

Event registration is closed

Join your fellow NSTXL innovators for this event, introduce your organization and its capabilities, and learn what others are doing in support of this opportunity.

This virtual teaming program facilitates discussions about how participants can contribute to a team through member capabilities. Participants are encouraged to continue the conversation after the event by joining the opportunity teaming board on NSTXL Community.


The Department of the Navy (DoN) is seeking prototypes that demonstrate one or more
Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques to protect against one or more identified Technology
Protection (TP) threats.

AM is a technology that can build 3D structures using methods that add material, as opposed to
traditional subtractive methods which remove material from a blank starting form. AM methods
include physically adding material layer-by-layer, as well as continuous methods. The potential
for building near-arbitrary 3D structures has led to significant investment and growth of the AM
industry; current technologies allow for printing polymers, metals, ceramics, and multi-material
structures, while research hopes to enable directly printing complex electronics, reactive and
responsive structures, sensors, and biological tissues, among others.

TP is a broad term for the protective measures a system can utilize against unwanted intrusion or
compromise. A simple example is hardware designed such that a visual inspection does not
reveal its technology, while more advanced TP methods may identify hardware which has been
modified or even self-destruct upon evidence of tamper.

Although the exponential advancements in AM technologies have spurred significant
investment from Department of Defense (DoD) Research organizations, Office of the Secretary
of Defense (OSD) Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, and the Defense Industrial Base (DIB),
AM’s applications in the TP space have been limited. This is due to a knowledge gap that exists
between AM practitioners (who generally do not work with TP requirements) and their TP
counterparts (who generally do not have AM experience) along with a lack of specified funding
for their integration. This prototyping effort is an opportunity for the AM and TP communities to
collaborate on innovative AM technologies to meet current and future TP mission needs.

This prototyping effort would further AM and TP collaboration through additional funding, new
partnerships, and enhanced capabilities focused on novel sensors, secure packaging, and
integrated board-level protection.

The Additively Manufactured Prototypes for Hardware Technology Protection Other Transaction
Authority (OTA) prototype project is anticipated to be released and executed in a 24-month
period of performance.