GE Research Demonstrates World's 1st Quantum-Secure Blockchain Network for Securing Digital Transactions in 3D Printing

May 13, 2019
  • GE’s Blockchain Network recognized with prestigious National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Supply Chain leadership
  • Uses Blockchain to secure digital transactions in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, from powder to finished part 
  • GE Research Blockchain Team sees broad application of its Blockchain framework to critical commercial and government operations
  • Will present results at 2019 CONSENSUS Blockchain Conference in New York City

New York - May 13, 2019 - A multi-disciplinary team at GE Research has pioneered the development of a quantum-secure Blockchain Network for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, which can manage digital transactions for making parts from powder to finished part.  The team’s work has been recognized by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with a 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Supply Chain Leadership.

Benjamin Beckmann, GE Research’s Blockchain Leader, will present the team’s results at the 2019 CONSENSUS Blockchain Conference being held in New York City. With additive being a principally digital-driven process and its increasing use to make critical industrial parts, Beckmann noted that a blockchain-enabled supply chain provides an ideal framework for managing these additive transactions reliably and securely.  

Beckmann says, “The demonstration of Blockchain for Additive is an excellent use case to build out our blockchain framework. We can create networks that allow for fine-grain control of materials flows, data, intellectual property and identity along the entire additive digital thread. The goal here is to provide security for the entire additive process from powder to print.”

The manufacture of high value metallic components with unique additive manufacturing production-only designs in industries such as aviation and power generation require a new level of sophistication at every step along the supply chain, manufacturing floor and post production process. The additive manufacturing process depends upon a consistent supply of high-quality feedstock that includes highly reactive metallic powders that have a defined shelf life and limited reuse characteristics. Efficiently managing the source, quality level and history of each part of the supply chain is mission critical in any high-tech additive manufacturing operation. 

The GE Research team pioneered its blockchain-enabled transactional platform for additive manufacturing in its innovative Forge Lab, which explores what’s possible at the edge of feasibility. The platform combines the need for pervasive data integration with a high degree of cryptographic communications and data storage enabled by quantum communication channels and ultra-fast quantum key distribution technologies.

Beckmann says that this first-of-its kind Blockchain Framework developed at GE Research could have much broader impact across a wide range of critical applications in commercial and government operations. “We’re working on a range of applications addressing industrial-grade requirements for industrial, energy, healthcare, and the defense industries.” 

John Carbone, Principal Engineer at GE Research and colleague of Ben’s, says the team has built an industrial-grade blockchain implementation that runs over a rugged, quantum-secure network.  “In the network, each identity associated with devices, designs, machines, materials, components and people can be quickly verified, qualified, documented and managed in an automated fashion with the highest degree of data integrity and assurance,” Carbone says.  “The system is based on modern cryptographic methods focused on data integrity, data ownership and rights plus automated workflow capabilities through distributed ledger technologies for contracts and transactions.”

GE Research’s Blockchain Team will be formally recognized at the 15th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala of the 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Summit, June 10-12, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, CA.

About GE Research

GE Research is GE’s innovation powerhouse where research meets reality. We are a world-class team of scientific, engineering and marketing minds working at the intersection of physics and markets, physical and digital technologies, and across a broad set of industries to deliver world-changing innovations and capabilities for our customers. To learn more, visit our website at

About the Manufacturing Leadership Awards

The Manufacturing Leadership Awards, now in their 15th year, honor manufacturing companies and individual manufacturing leaders that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Winning projects and individual manufacturing leaders have demonstrated achievement in one of a wide range of categories, and are chosen by a panel of expert judges for results that have delivered clear and compelling value, return on investment, and other tangible outcomes. For more information on the Manufacturing Leadership Awards or the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, please go to

About the National Association of Manufacturers

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development in the nation. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. 


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Todd Alhart


Todd Alhart