Arguably one of the biggest challenges currently facing the additive manufacturing industry is standardization. Fortunately, there are a number of efforts being made to establish guidelines and first steps towards standards for the manufacturing technology. In a significant step, America Makes, the U.S.’ national AM innovation institute, has teamed up with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to publish version 2.0 of their Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing.
Funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and supported by over 300 people from 175 public and private sector organizations, the standardization roadmap 2.0 was put together by America Makes and the ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), a group formed with the aim of accelerating the establishment of AM standards and specifications across the industry.
“We are extraordinarily pleased at the AMSC’s continued progress to define a coherent set of additive manufacturing standards and specifications that will benefit the industry,” said Rob Gorham, executive director of America Makes.
The Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing 2.0 provides an outline of the current state of additive manufacturing standardization and highlights 93 “gaps” in the industry, where no standardization currently exists. 18 of the gaps have been identified as high priority ones, and 65 of those listed include additional pre-standardization R&D. The document also offers an update of previously identified gaps, some of which have been addressed by standardization since the publication of the last report.
Included in the 18 high priority standardization gaps are Metal Powder Feedstock Sampling, Machine Calibration and Preventative Maintenance, Recycle & Re-use of Materials, Environmental Conditions: Effects on Materials, Protection of Machine Operators, Cleanliness of Medical AM Parts and others.
“Coordination of standards development activity in emerging technology areas is something that ANSI excels at, and we have been very pleased to partner with America Makes to define the standards needed to help grow the additive manufacturing industry,” commented Joe Bhatia, president and CEO of ANSI.
The collaboration between America Makes and ANSI AMSC began in March 2016, as they set out with the goal of coordinating and development of industry-wide additive manufacturing standards. Notably, the AMSC’s role is not to establish standards or specifications, but to promote coordination across the industry.
The new Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing 2.0 can be downloaded on ANSI’s AMSC website.