Standards developer ASTM International has announced a second round of funding to support additive manufacturing (AM) standards research.

According to the organization, an investment of US$300,000 and in-kind contributions will help the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence address the need for technical standardization in this fast-growing industry with nine new projects. According to ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs, Dr Mohsen Seifi, the aim is to take a ‘holistic approach’ to fill standard gaps in design, feedstock, process, post processing, testing and qualification.

The project topics are as follows.

Auburn University in the US will work to implement a more efficient inspection process to detect potential part quality issues after fabrication through laser powder bed fusion. The study aims to identify and quantify deviations in build and material quality through a series of tests performed within a few hours after the part is removed from the 3D printing machine. In addition, the university and NASA will partner to continue work from Phase l of a previously funded project to develop a consensus regarding the minimum requirements for qualifying laser powder bed machines and processes. In Phase ll, the team will establish qualitative and quantitative metrics for evaluation methods, conduct round-robin trials, and establish recommendations for standards implementation.

Applied technology developer EWI aims to look at overall advances in digital data acquisition, automation, and data analysis with the aim of defining a minimum subset of AM data entries and taxonomy of those entries. The resulting standard could help establish best practices for data sharing, a common data dictionary for AM, and a data management roadmap.

UK-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) will address the lack of guidelines for what is seen as acceptable test results in powder feedstock test methods. This operator proficiency study, which will use findings from ASTM International’s AM proficiency testing program, could help users understand acceptable test results as well as typical variation in results from different labs. In another project, MTC plans to address the growing number of post-processing issues tied to inefficient designs, cost, high non-conformity and scrap rates, and develop a guide that proposes best practices in design for each type of post-processing operation. 

Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) will use off-axial monitoring to acquire optical and thermal images from the laser powder bed fusion process. Image analysis will help the researchers to extract structured data, leading to the development of a procedure to construct a 3D file embedding with parameters representing the printing process and quality evaluation. NAMIC will also conduct research to form guidelines and best practices specific to directed energy deposition (DED) and material extrusion (MEX). 

US-based Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) will gather information from existing polymer characterization activities to create a test plan and matrix incorporating improved testing methods. Additional print, test, and analysis will be conducted to generate additional data. NIAR also plans to study coupon-part property relationships in additively manufactured polymers and review results from multiple studies in order to compile an approach for microstructural analysis of specimens as well as application-specific characterization.

This story uses material from ASTM, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.