Rules & Guidelines

Hack3D Competition

The goal of this competition is to raise awareness in both scientific and manufacturing communities about the need for anti-counterfeiting methods in 3D printing.

The competition occurs over two rounds.

In the Qualifying Round, competitors are tested in reverse engineering a 3D CAD model.

In the Final Round, teams will compete in printing 3D parts that have been embedded with anti-counterfeiting features.

Qualifying Round: July 2 - September 14, 2018  October 5 (competitors work off-site at their own location)

Final in-person Round: November 8 - 10, 2018 at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (Brooklyn, New York).

Student competitors are expected to have knowledge in image visualization, basic coding skills, and a general knowledge about the 3D printing process to be successful in this competition.

CSAW Global Participation

In its inaugural year, this competition will held at CSAW US-Canada, organized by Dr. Nikhil Gupta, and PhD candidates Fei Chen and Ashish Singh in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department.

Competition Eligibility

This competition is open to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the United States and Canada.

For the Qualification Round, competitors may form teams of 1 - 4 members. Team members do not need to attend the same university/college.

Qualification Round Teams who are interested in competing must register prior to August 14, 2018  October 5 using the link Register Now link (top right). 

Beginning on July 2 and continuing on a weekly basis, the primary contact for the registered team will receive a 3D printing g-code file and detailed instructions on expectations for the reverse engineering of the CAD model. Teams will have until October 5  September 14, 2018 to reverse engineer the code and submit their model and report to the competition organizers.

Please note that teams may continue to register for this competition through October 5 August 14, but the later the registration, the less time teams will have to work through the challenge. Early registration is encouraged.

Rules for Qualifying Round

  • Registration is required and will remain open through August 14, 2018 October 5
  • Players can compete individually or on a team of up to 4 members
  • All team members must be students enrolled in accredited undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the United States and Canada.
  • All players must compete under only 1 team name; playing for multiple teams is not permitted.
  • There is a maximum limit of 4 players on a team during the Qualifying Round. However, should a team qualify for Finals, only 2 members of a team will be supported with a Travel Award to Finals. We recommend determining which team members will compete at Finals in advance.
  • Teams should work independently; sharing answers privately or publicly, or collaborating with another team to secure multiple spots at Finals constitutes cheating.
  • Submissions are due September 14, 2018 October 5

Qualifying for Finals & Finalist Notification

Once the submission deadline has passed, team submissions of the CAD model and accompanying process report will be assessed by NYU organizers. Assessors will consider total mass, dimension, and shape. The top 5 teams who most accurately reverse engineer the original 3D CAD model will be notified of their Finalist status no later than October 5, 2018. October 10, 2018

Final Round Eligibility

Teams will be asked to verify their enrollment prior to being offered a Travel Award. Additionally, participation in Hack3D is contingent upon competitors' ability to enter the United States.

Travel Award

Following the enrollment verification process, a Travel Award will be presented to two members of each of the top 5 qualifying teams. Travel Awards to NYU Tandon School of Engineering include round-trip transportation, hotel lodging, and most meals. Teams will be provided details when they are invited to finals.

Finals Format

During Finals, teams will be tasked with hacking a design file embedded with anti-counterfeiting software in order to print a replica of the original file. CSAW will provide teams with the 3D printer, a user manual for the printer, and necessary software. Teams will need to provide their own laptop.

A committee of judges will assess the accuracy of the 3D models based on mass, dimension, and shape.


In addition to the Travel Award, cash prizes of $1000, $750, and $500 will be awarded to the top three teams. Prizes will be distributed in late November 2018.

Mailing List

Hack3D registrants will be automatically added to the CSAW mailing list. This list is used to provide occasional updates on CSAW and to promote cybersecurity related events being organized by CSAW regional partner schools. CSAW will not rent, sell, or share emails with non-partner schools or other entities or organizations. Registrants can opt-out of the mailing list at anytime.


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