Posted By Jeff Moad, March 15, 2016 at 12:05 PM, in Category: Transformative Technologies
While makers and other enthusiasts continue to proclaim the transformative potential of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, enthusiasm among many industrial manufacturers remains muted. One reason: The absence of a comprehensive set of standards and certifications that can assure manufacturers and their customers that 3D printing equipment, software, and materials will perform safely and to predictable specifications. Without such verifiable standards—or the willingness to test equipment and materials internally--many manufacturers remain reluctant to stake their reputations and customer relationships on 3D printing.
Now a couple of important organizations say they will try to resolve this challenge by coordinating emerging standards into what they call a “consistent, harmonized, and non-contradictory set of additive manufacturing standards.”
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and America Makes (also known as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute), said they have formed the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), which will try to ride herd on emerging additive manufacturing standards.
In a statement, the two groups said AMSC “will identify existing standards and standards in development, assess gaps, and make recommendations for priority areas where there is a perceived need for additional standardization.”
The groups did not identify specific existing additive manufacturing standards that they will attempt to coordinate. Several have begun to emerge in recent years, however, each focusing on a different aspect of additive manufacturing. In 2009, for example, ASTM International formed a committee to pursue additive manufacturing standards, and in February of last year, UL announced plans to formulate 3D printing equipment compliance guidelines. And, in November of last year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE) said it planned to propose software standards for 3D printers used in medical applications.
AMSC said its efforts will conform to standards priorities already identified by America Makes as part of its Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap. Among other things, the roadmap addresses 3D printing materials and equipment design.
AMSC said it will hold its inaugural meeting on March 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Philadelphia, PA.
Written by Jeff Moad
Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit