Aggie Winners at CSAW 2019!

Congratulations to the Texas A&M team for winning 3rd place in the 3D Printer Hack Challenge at the CSAW ’19 cyber-security competition held November 7-9, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York.

The Texas A&M team was comprised of Computer and Electrical Engineering students Akash TiwariMutaz Melhem, and Maccoy Merrell under the advisement of professor Stavros Kalafatis.

After progressing from the qualification round where participants were challenged to reconstruct a corrupted .gcode file, the team employed skills in file forensics and reverse-engineering, to decode a file that they sent through a Caesar Cipher decode to obtain instructions for the final competition. They then had to develop a male 3D printer piece that was scaled to fit a female 3D printed piece whose STL file was provided. In addition, the team was tasked to create a STL file and then decode an encrypted Data Matrix code (after determining it was not a QR code) which provided a message that was not decipherable. The team completed the challenge in seven hours and placed 3rd out of five finalist from schools across Canada and the US.

This was the third time the Texas A&M team had entered the competition. Last year, they placed third in a embedded security challenge. They have truly set themselves apart nationally within such a short period.


For more information on the event, go to