The Opening of a new Standards Cell for Additive Manufacturing at Sirris

After 25 years of development, the techniques of Additive Manufacturing (AM) are being increasingly used in companies. What is the present situation with regard to standardisation? Can we actually use published standards as guidelines?

With the support of the FPS Economy and the Bureau for Standardisation (NBN), Sirris, like other collective research centres, has set up a certain number of Standards Cells. Standards Cells are bodies set up in order to inform Belgian companies - mainly SMEs - about existing and future standards related to various topics. Several Standards Cells already exist at Sirris, but, since 1 September 2016, a new Standards Cell that focuses on Additive Manufacturing has been established.

After 25 years of development, Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques are being increasingly used in companies and by individuals in everyday life. Considerable progress has been made: the machines are more precise, faster, more reliable, and are capable of producing shapes that have until now been impossible to produce and in an increasingly wide range of materials.

But more work needs to be done if these techniques are to become indispensable technologies. The processes need to be further developed and become more effective; AM design still needs to be adopted by design offices. And there is another area where much remains to be done: standardisation! This aspect is crucial for the future of Additive Manufacturing!

What is the current situation? Can companies actually use published standards as guidelines? Given the list below, the process of standardisation is well underway!

Published standards:

  • ISO 17296-2:2015: Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Part 2: Overview of process categories and feedstock
  • ISO 17296-3:2014 : Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Part 3: Main characteristics and corresponding test methods 
  • ISO 17296-4:2014 : Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Part 4: Overview of data processing 
  • ISO/ASTM 52921:2013 : Standard terminology for additive manufacturing -- Coordinate systems and test methodologies
  • ISO/ASTM 52900:2015 : Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Terminology 
  • ISO/ASTM 52915:2016: Specification for additive manufacturing file format (AMF) Version 1.
  • ASTM F3049-14: Standard guide for characterizing properties of metal powders used for additive manufacturing processes
  • ASTM F2924-14: Standard Specification for AM Ti6Al4V with Powder Bed Fusion
  • ASTM F2971-13: Standard Practice for Reporting Data for Test Specimens Prepared by AM
  • ASTM F3055-14: Standard Specification for AM Ni Alloy (UNS N07718) with Powder Bed Fusion
  • ASTM F3122-14: Standard Guide for Evaluating Mechanical Properties of Metal Materials made via AM
  • ASTM F3091-14: Standard Specification for Powder Bed Fusion of Plastic Materials

Standards under development: 

  • ISO/ASTM DIS 52910.2: Guidelines for additive manufacturing design
  • ISO/ASTM DIS 52901.2: Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Requirements for purchased AM parts
  • ISO/ASTM DIS 52903-1: Additive manufacturing -- Standard specification for material extrusion based additive manufacturing of plastic materials -- Part 1: Feedstock materials
  • ISO/ASTM NP 52902: Additive manufacturing -- General principles -- Standard test artifacts

Most of the published texts currently relate to generalities, definitions, and so on. The ‘operational’ standards, which can be used by companies in their day-to-day operations, do not yet exist, or are, at best, under development.

Sirris, which has been developing Additive Manufacturing technologies for over 25 years, needs to make a contribution to this process, by becoming more involved in the sometimes laborious but extremely important phase of the development of standardisation. The Additive Manufacturing Standards Cell project reflects this commitment, with the following aims:

  • Normative watch and guidance with the acquisition of information relating to specific AM standards (published or under development)
  • Raising awareness in companies
  • Providing technical support to companies, in the form of specific services

Initiatives will be implemented in the coming months via information seminars, publications, newsletters, and so on.

We would be more than happy to provide you with any assistance you may require!