ASTM International, Innovate UK, BSI & MTC to co-develop standards metal additive manufacturing

ASTM International, the leader in Global standards, has partnered with Innovate UK, the British Standards Institution (BSI), and the UK Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, to develop technical standards for the additive manufacturing process, directed energy deposition (DED).

Through this collaboration, the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, in which the MTC is a founding partner, has identified three areas for standardization in DED 3D printing processes.

Innovate UK and BSI have also invested £300,000 to support this collaboration.

“This is a smart partnership that brings together UK expertise in key areas of additive manufacturing along with the infrastructure and leadership of ASTM International and its young center of excellence,” said Robin Wilson, the innovation lead for high-value manufacturing at Innovate UK.

Wilson, who also acts on the advisory board of ASTM’s center of excellence, added,

“Innovate UK is pleased to support the creation of Publicly Available Specifications to help drive economic growth through innovation in high-value manufacturing.”

Machining 3D printed parts in the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Photo via ASTM International
Machining 3D printed parts in the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Photo via ASTM International

Developing directed energy deposition 

DED technology uses focused thermal energy to fuse materials upon deposition. Commercial distributors of this technology include Optomec and BeAM Machines.

According to Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM International’s global additive manufacturing director, this process offers unique advantages related to speed and build-envelope limitations within certain parts. 

Nevertheless, Dr. Seifi adds, “DED is not as widely used nor understood as some of the other additive manufacturing processes. Lack of standards are quite evident.” Thus, the partners have focused on three areas in the process for which standards must be developed.

Directed energy deposition standardization areas

The first area of development highlights the need for specifications when using wire as a DED feed-stock. This will address key requirements including materials composition, dimensional tolerances, contamination, packaging, handling, and storage.

The second standard approaches nondestructive testing (NDT). This aims to address typical causes and natures of DED defects while reviewing traditional test methods for compatibility with DED.

The final standard involves wire-and-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM). It intends to cover terminology, material opportunities and restrictions, geometrical constraints, finishing requirements, and inspection procedures within the WAAM process.

Dr. Mohsen Seifi, director of global additive manufacturing programs at ASTM International. Image via ASTM International
Dr. Mohsen Seifi, director of global additive manufacturing programs at ASTM International. Image via ASTM International.

The ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence

BSI will coordinate the development of three DED standards, while the MTC will continue to support the program’s Publicly Available Specifications activity through the initial consultation phase, as well as the identification of potential partners to form committees on selected topics. ASTM’s Centre of Excellence will offer support for the subsequent international standards.

Following the development of the Publicly Available Specifications, ASTM International’s F42 committee on additive manufacturing technologies intends to develop international standards based on each through a new licensing agreement.

Inside the MTC, a member of ASTM's Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Photo via MTC
Inside the MTC, a member of ASTM’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Photo via MTC.

Nominate ASTM International, BSI, MTC, and others now for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2019.

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Featured image shows the interior of the MTC, a member of ASTM’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Photo via MTC.

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