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Beast Mode: 3D Printed Smart Tags Guarantee Authenticity

3D Printed smart tags

Origin Laboratories develops 3D printed smart tags to tackle fake sneakers, in collaboration with Beast Mode, Chronicled and Autodesk.

When you decide to go Beast Mode — and buy $200 shoes — you’d better be certain they’re authentic.

That’s how Origin Laboratories convinced famous Seattle Seahawk running back, Marshawn Lynch (A.K.A. Beast Mode) that they could guarantee the authenticity of his footwear line with a 3D printed electronic tag.

But setting up shop in San Fransisco was no easy task. They would have to fork over $100,000 for the industrial equipment they needed… until they found the Autodesk Ember, a $7,500 3D printer that uses open source software.

3D Printed Smart Tags with Incredible Blockchain-Approved Results

The Beast Mode NFC tag is 3D printed and equipped with a serial number used to validate the product’s authenticity. But not the way you might expect; the serial number corresponds to a blockchain algorithm, making it nearly impossible to fake. The tag can only be scanned using the Chronicled app.

While the tags are white, Origin also switched up the printing process in order to get their exact results. The print would stop after the initial layers were completed so the RFID chips could be placed inside. These initial layers are red, the final layers, however, are printed in white. The team also required a specialized print bed. So, they printed their own mold and mounted it to the print bed.

By automating part of the printing process, Origin shows just how useful 3D printing could be for end-part production. The system’s open source design means the sky is the limit when it comes to manufacturing. If you can program it, you can (probably) print it.

Best of all, each smart tag costs only $2.76 to produce, and comes with an ultra low failure rate of one in 600 parts. This secure solution gives a lot for other luxury brands to chew over when combating the tide of fake goods.

3d printed smart tag