IT grade standards

IT grade standards

Standards in Additive Manufacturing (AM)

 

Introduction

As additive manufacturing moves towards production, the need for standards covering all aspects of AM technology becomes a must. Standards cover many aspects such as process, feedstock, file structure, part quality, yield, and more.

More than half a dozen standard agencies define AM standards for various industries such as ASTM (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), ANSI (American national standards institute) ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), CEN (European Committee for Standardization)  NASA and more. 

In this study, we will not be defining standards, but utilize existing standards and methods to gauge machine and part quality in AM,  providing you also with the tools to extract the performance limits of your SLS/SLM 3D printer.  Specifically,  we’ll be focusing on the dimensional and microstructural of an AM part. Choosing the international tolerance ISO-286 for dimensional tolerances, defined by the ISO as Geometrical Product Specifications – GPS. ISO-286 is a broader standard covering also subtractive manufacturing (SM) and tooling. Therefore, a good standard for comparison to other technologies.

For structural integrity, we’ll analyze the bond constancy of the material and deploy our own analysis tool.

Introduction to AM standards – How AM compares to other industries

Table 1 demonstrates how standards apply for the consumer to gauge product performance. This leaves us with an obvious question: would you buy a Tesla knowing that the range is 50 miles per hour?

ProductCostBlue sky StandardPerformance/StandardStandard code
Tesla car50,000 USD2000 miles per charge350 miles per charge
EPA
CNC machine25,000 USD ±10 micrometers±20 - ±40 micrometers
International Tolerance under ISO 286
SLM 3D printer50,000 - 1,000,000 USD ±10 micrometersNo standards are published
International Tolerance under ISO 286
Table 1

We’ll be introducing standards in AM with regard to print accuracy and Microstructural Integrity (MI). 

For AM to migrate to manufacturing, performance needs to be clearly stated. By the end of this study you will have the tools to gauge how your printer performs vs. SM and most importantly vs. other printers.

The study is broken into six chapters.

Part 1 – Utilization of standards in AM

As additive manufacturing moves towards production, standards covering all aspects of AM technology become necessary. Standards cover many aspects, such as process, feedstock, file structure, part quality, yield, and more. Over half a dozen l standard agencies defined AM standards for various vertical industries. The issue is with standards adaptation rather than with defining new…