Piracy isn’t limited to movies, music, and games alone, you might be surprised to know that 3D models are prime targets for theft as well. For instance, BMW sued TurboSquid, 3D model marketplace, for selling their car design models, and gaming giant Blizzard is still trying in vain to take down porn parodies that use highly modified models from their acclaimed Overwatch game.

In a world where both hardware and software are becoming more open, whether intended or not, and especially in regard to 3D printing, it all seems harmless enough, but often companies providing free content also rely heavily on copyrighted goods to support their businesses. To help protect against 3D model theft, Atlanta, Georgia-based startup, Padeca, has developed encryption protection for 3D files with a simple program named D3CRYPT3D.


The software is dead simple. Drag and drop your 3D file into D3crypt3D, set the encryption and done. Anyone who wants to open it needs an access key, otherwise they’re met with a ‘calling card’ with your contact info and any message you would like to send.  Additionally, the encrypted file contains a trace-path to show you where the files went, if the file was accessed, and if it was opened, encrypted or decrypted.

The secret to the encryption software lies in its multi-layered level of security that makes use of Rijndael-based (AKA Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithms developed by NIST. You can encrypt single files or any number of files or folders, with no loss of data integrity when decrypted. How is it different from other encryption methods, say an encrypted WinZip file? Chloe Kettell, CEO and Co-founder of D3crypt3D, describes four ways:

  1.  There is no compression algorithm applied.
  2. The file type remains the same and can be opened in its native application even in an encrypted state.
  3. Asset tracking metrics are embedded in the encryption, allowing tracking throughout the lifecycle.
  4. The assets owner is identified by the calling card which gives the artist a form of promotion.

OBJ files are the only format supported currently, with FBX soon to follow and more planned for the future. To provide feedback on supported file types and features, you can do so through their forum.

The software has garnered enough attention to be selected as a finalist for the SXSW 2017 Interactive Innovation Awards, Privacy & Security category, which awards technology found to be “the most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy.” Not bad for a 6-month old startup.


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