America Makes, the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing based in Youngstown, Ohio, began working with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization, back in early 2016 to develop standards and specifications for the rapidly evolving 3D printing industry. Together, they formed a regulatory institution for the industry, called the America Makes and ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), and in an effort to facilitate industry growth, immediately got to work developing a roadmap that could be used to identify necessary additive manufacturing standards.

The AMSC was specifically chartered to coordinate and speed up the development of industry-wide additive manufacturing standards that are consistent with stakeholders’ needs, along with setting up a possible approach to the future development process. Four working groups in the areas of design, maintenance, process and materials, and qualification and certification began working, and in December of that same year, the AMSC released the preliminary final draft of its Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 1.0) to the public for review and comment.

The completed roadmap was published last February, naming 89 ‘gaps’ – 19 of which were labeled high priority – where no standard or specification had been previously published for a specific industry need. Phase 2 of the project began not long after, and just a few months ago, the AMSC released its preliminary final draft of the Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 2.0).

The AMSC released the 260-page draft in order to receive public review and comments, and planned for its final publication this June. About 320 individuals, from 175 different public and private sector organizations, supported the development of this second document version.

This week, the group, which receives major funding from the US Department of Defense (DoD), has announced the publication of its completed Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 2.0), which is available for download here.

Jim Williams, the President of All Points Additive and Chair of the AMSC, said, “It’s been a privilege to be involved with the committed group of professionals who make up the AMSC and I want to thank all of them who contributed to this undertaking.”

This latest version of the AMSC roadmap offers a description of the existing additive manufacturing standardization landscape, and also lists progress updates on the gaps identified in the first version, many of which have been, as America Makes puts it, “substantially revised.” A total of five gaps have been withdrawn.

Rob Gorham, Executive Director of America Makes, which is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), said, “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.”

V2 of the roadmap has identified 93 gaps, of which 18 are listed as high priority, where no specifications or standards have been published to address an industry need. These new gaps include a lot about polymers, including topics such as laser-based additive repair, the use of recycled polymer precursor materials, NDE of polymers and other non-metallic materials, and heat treatment polymers. In a total of 65 of these gaps, the document lists additional pre-standardization R&D needs.

Joe Bhatia, President and CEO of ANSI, said, “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.”

The Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 2.0) considers the entire life cycle of a 3D printed part in its standards, all the way from the design and selection of the materials and process through production, post-processing, finished material properties, testing, qualification, and even maintenance post-print.

The document reads, “As with the earlier version of this document, the hope is that the roadmap will be broadly adopted by the standards community and that it will facilitate a more coherent and coordinated approach to the future development of standards and specifications for additive manufacturing.

“To that end, it is envisioned that the roadmap will continue to be promoted in the coming year. The roadmap may be updated in the future to assess progress on its implementation and to identify emerging issues that require further discussion.”

This latest roadmap version is supplemented by a listing of standards, titled the AMSC Standards Landscape, which are either peripherally or directly related to the issues laid out in the document. Both this document, Version 2.0 of the roadmap, and additional information are available on the AMSC website.

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