Fans of outré 3D prints like the Liberator or trademark-protected Mechwarrior robots can now obfuscate their prints using Disarming Corruptor, a system that temporarily scrambles 3D objects and allows authorized users to descramble them with a key. Created by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, the program is a commentary on the censorship of 3D objects and an interesting way to trip up folks who might be snooping through your print files.
“In a time of prolific online espionage, crackdowns on file-sharing, and a growing concern for the 3D printing of illegal items and copyright protected artefacts, DC is a free software application that helps people to circumvent these issues,” wrote Plummer-Fernandez. “Inspired by encryption rotor machines such as the infamous Enigma Machine, the application runs an algorithm that is used to both corrupt STL files into a visually-illegible state by glitching and rotating the 3D mesh, and to allow a recipient to reverse the effect to restore it back to its original form. The file recipient would need both the application and the unique seven digit settings used by the sender, entering the incorrect settings would only damage the file further.”
Companies like Create It Real are already working on databases of “forbidden” objects. DC, then, works as a counter to these censorship systems. It also acts as a form of copy protection, ensuring people can download your STL files and unlock them with your permission.
“When patent trolls and law enforcement agencies find these files on sharing sites they will only see abstract contortions, but within the trusting community these files will still represent the objects they are looking for, purposely in need of repair,” he wrote.
You can download the program here for OSX and Windows and Linux versions are forthcoming. It doesn’t seem to work on Mavericks yet, so downloader cavete.