Additive Manufacturing Testing

    Additive manufacturing (AM) is defined by the ASTM society as a process of combining materials to produce items from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer. This is opposite to subtractive manufacturing approaches. It offers digital revolution in communications, imaging, architecture, testing and engineering and has various applications in military, industry, and the global world. An additive manufacturing industry is concerned with the milling, machining, carving, shaping, research, and development of materials. It is a major contributor in the economy and technical innovation. 3D printing is the most common example of additive manufacturing where a three-dimensional object is constructed from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. 

    Figure 1: Additive manufacturing

    ASTM standards have been devised to provide guidance for additive manufacturers and product testing labs engaged in the production and designing of materials. In order to ensure safety and better quality of the equipment ASTM International has developed a number of standards critical to the improved performance, complex features, simplified geometrics, construction, maintenance, and shape optimization. These standards abide by the global requirements and are aligned with the guidelines of Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies.

    Figure 2: 3D printing 

    ASTM standards followed to ensure safety in all realms include Practice for Reporting Data for Test Specimens Prepared by AM (F2971), ASTM F3122, Specification for AM File Format (AMF) Version 1.2 (EN ISO/ASTM 52915), ISO/ASTM 52910, ISO/ASTM 52901, EN ISO/ASTM 52900, Terminology for Additive Manufacturing – Coordinate Systems and Test Methodologies (EN ISO/ASTM 52921), ASTM F3049, Specification for Powder Bed Fusion of Plastic Materials (F3091/F3091M), and ASTM F3187.

    All these standards are practiced in various AM industries and testing labs to ensure efficient production and maintenance of equipment and systems. These standards help focus on the minute details and opt for effective ways to manufacture reliable equipment. 

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