7 3D Printing Projects Funded by ASTM to Drive AM Standards

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Last year, ASTM International completed two project calls, the Request for Ideas (RFI) and the Call for Projects (CFP), marking solid investments in the organization’s fourth year of funded 3D printing research projects. Now, ASTM, which works to improve consumer confidence, public health and safety, and quality of life through standards integration, has announced its latest funded Research to Standards (R2S) projects. These seven new AM projects support the organization’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) in its ongoing work to speed up industrial adoption of AM and advance standardization of the technology.

The AM CoE partnership between ASTM International and organizations from academia, industry, and government began in 2018. Its work obviously dovetails with that of ASTM, in that it leads R&D efforts in order to set up standards across every part of the AM workflow, from materials and machines to data registration and more.

ASTM AM Center of Excellence

ASTM AM Center of Excellence. Image courtesy of ASTM.

Over 90 project ideas were submitted by ASTM International members in response to this year’s RFI, and many were submitted by non-AM CoE partners for the CFP as well. Members of the executive subcommittee within ASTM’s F42 additive manufacturing technologies committee reviewed and ultimately approved the final projects for funding.

“We are excited to launch these efforts to enhance the AM industry’s ability to develop much needed consensus-based standards. We have received overwhelming responses from the ASTM community to both of the project calls, covering a wide range of impactful ideas to address critical needs of the industry,” said Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs.

Three ideas were chosen in response to the RFI, and the first is by Auburn University, which will set up a standardized practice, focused on characteristic defects in AM processes, for measuring the density of 3D printed parts. The UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) will work on developing measurement and classification methods for assessing the cleanliness of powder. Also, together with AON3D and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) will create a testing method for interlayer shear properties in parts 3D printed with extrusion-based technology.

Using a metal 3D printer inside the NIAR Additive Manufacturing Lab in 2017. (Image: Wichita State University)

Four CFP projects were chosen to receive support, with the first submitted by the Colorado School of Mines. For this project, researchers will collect data in order to support the creation of a standard process to measure what’s described in an ASTM press release as “the load-bearing cross sectional area for mechanical testing of coupons with as-built AM surfaces.” Another approved project is by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), which will set up a guideline to continue print jobs after interruptions of the build.

In addition to its RFI project, the NRC also had a project approved for the CFP. The council will generate data regarding how moisture affects the additive manufacturing process and printed part properties, in order to create a procedure for evaluating critical moisture levels. Finally, the University of Alabama at Birmingham will develop a testing method that can measure tensile properties of filaments that are used in material extrusion-based AM processes.

ASTM’s AM CoE works to speed up the development and adoption of innovative technologies like additive manufacturing by setting up training and certification programs and supporting standardization efforts, as well as offering business strategy, market intelligence, and advisory services thanks to the recent acquisition of Wohlers Associates. Each of the chosen RFI and CFP projects will address at least one, and sometimes more than one, of the standardization gaps named in the Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) roadmap that America Makes and ANSI published together.

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