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UL Jumping into Testing of Materials for 3D Printing

Posted By Jeff Moad, April 01, 2015 at 3:49 PM, in Category: Transformative Technologies

Product safety consulting and branding service provider UL says it is creating a quality framework and analysis service designed to help manufacturers assure the quality and performance of materials being used to fabricate parts and products with 3D printers.

UL says its service examines key performance and safety issues such as flammability, toxicity, particle size distribution, polymer and composite quality testing of materials that manufacturers are using in conjunction with 3D printing. UL says its testing methods will be based on standards developed by such organizations as the American Society for Materials (ASM) International, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International, and the International Standards Organization (ISO).

As the speed and capability of 3D printing improves and more manufacturers consider its use in production applications—not just prototyping—the quality and certification of materials used in 3D printers has emerged as an issue of concern for many manufacturers. Although organizations such as the European Union and America Makes are working on standards that could be used to test and certify materials for 3D printers, experts have said it could be many years before such standards are in place. It appears that UL may be attempting to provide a commercial service that fills the gap.

Meanwhile, UL has said it is also working on guidelines and frameworks aimed at helping manufacturers create quality frameworks for 3D-printed products and develop workforces with proper competencies in 3D printing design and engineering.

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


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