Data Security + GrabCAD Print
A short tutorial to answer questions such as:
-"What data is sent over the cloud with GrabCAD Print?"
-"How can I make my 3D printing data more secure?"
-"Can GrabCAD Print be used without an internet connection?"
Step 1: The Three Modes of GrabCAD Print
GrabCAD Print is a 3D printing file preparation software that installs on an engineer's local computer and interfaces with a majority of Stratasys printers.
There are three ways in which to use it, with three different levels of security:
For additional information on setting up Mode A, click here.
For additional information on setting up Mode B, click here.
For additional information on setting up Mode C, click here.
Step 2: How is my CAD information secured using GrabCAD Print?
CAD data is your company's proprietary information that can be opened in any commercially available seat of the same software.
While users input CAD data into GrabCAD Print to describe the shapes they want to create, that CAD data never leaves your site. Instead, GrabCAD Print slices CAD data into information only printers can read, which is then sent over your Local Area Network to your 3D printer:
Even in Mode C from above (remote printing and monitoring), remote users monitoring job history or material usage do not see CAD data sent over the cloud, only meta-data (green) about the prints:
If Remote Printing is used in conjunction with Mode C (i.e. users who are offsite are also sending jobs to your print queue), then slice data (red line) would travel through your secure company cloud account to your printer, but never CAD data:
If you would like to prevent remote printing entirely, during the install of the Print Monitoring Server, you can check a box to make remote users Read-Only (they cannot then add/delete jobs to the queue):
This prevents even slice data (red line) from being sent over your secure company cloud account in Mode C. Meta-data (green line) would still be accessible (read-only) to authorized users of your company account if you chose Mode C.
Step 3: How can I make my GrabCAD Print usage EVEN more secure?
The most important security step is to decide early on which of the 3 modes of GrabCAD Print usage (Mode A, B, C) fit your security needs.
After that, here are some other steps you can take to control/increase your security using GrabCAD Print:
- Separate networks for separate printers
By design, any user of GrabCAD Print can see any supported Stratasys printer on the same Local Area Network (LAN) their computer is currently connected too.
Therefore, to control access to certain printers some customers put printers on separate LANs only certain users have access to:
2. Read-only setting on the Print Server
As previously stated, setting the Print Server to Read-Only (for sites using Mode C) will prevent any remote user from sending, deleting, re-ordering any job in your print queue:
Besides preventing unauthorized queue access, this is a good way to ensure remote users never accidentally send slice data over an unsecured connection, because they literally will not be able to send jobs from off-site.
Remote users will still be able to monitor material usage, job progress, printer status through the secure GrabCAD Print app and company webpage, however.
3. OFFLINE mode
For companies using Mode B, there is an extra step they can take to make sure GrabCAD Print never updates or sends anonymous data to Stratasys without their consent. This is called OFFLINE mode and can be enabled for each user under File...Preferences:
Users in Mode A are already on a private LAN disconnected from the internet, and users in Mode C have already chosen to use the Print Server for remote monitoring, so this feature only applies to users in Mode B.
Medical companies or designers who have qualified their designs only on a specific version of GrabCAD Print may want to consider this mode, to stop automatic software updates each month.
4. Automatic OFFLINE mode following a command prompt install
For sites choosing Mode A, the most secure, it may be desired to have users automatically install in OFFLINE mode, without having to first log-in and then set their preferences to be in OFFLINE mode.
If you install via Windows Command Prompt (a popular choice for sites with many users to set up), you can add the command "/offlinemode" to the .exe, and have that instance automatically start in OFFLINE mode when it is first opened:
More information about OFFLINE mode is found here.
And those are just some of the ways to control the security of your GrabCAD Print usage; feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any further questions.
Step 4: Summary