Quality Magazine

SME Partners with ASTM to Create New Additive Manufacturing Standards

March 11, 2009

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, PA - ASTM International, one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, announces the formation of ASTM Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies. The new, first-time standards initiative was driven by the cooperative efforts of ASTM and SME to bring forward consensus standards that will support the adoption of additive manufacturing across multiple industry sectors.

ASTM Committee F42 comes together following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASTM and SME. The MOU between the two organizations establishes ASTM as the home for this new standards writing activity and facilitates the participation of SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community in the ASTM standards development process. SME’s RTAM Community is the world’s largest community of technical experts focused around these advanced technologies. The support of the RTAM Community will help bring a broad global membership to Committee F42, resulting in the development of standards that meet the needs of stakeholders and industries around the world.

Terry Wohlers, FSME, principal of Wohlers Associates and a member of SME’s RTAM Community, comments, “The partnership between SME and ASTM is an important milestone - launching the development of industry standards for additive manufacturing that has been needed for years. Consensus standards developed by ASTM Committee F42 will spearhead the application of additive technologies in the manufacturing of products across a wide range of global industries.”

Additive manufacturing technologies and processes help improve the design, test and manufacture of new products, resulting in quicker time-to-market and lower cost. During the past decade, use of these technologies - which include rapid prototyping, additive fabrication and others - has risen across a variety of industry sectors, including aerospace, automotive, biotechnology/medical and consumer products.

Hindering the further growth of additive manufacturing into new and emerging applications is the lack of consensus standards that cover terminology, test methods, materials and design. Consensus ASTM International standards will allow manufacturers to better compare and contrast the performance of different additive processes, improve the purchaser/supplier relationship by enabling part requirements to be more accurately specified, help new adopters to more appropriately use and implement these technologies and enable researchers and process developers to provide repeatable results that can be independently verified.

Following a survey of standards developing organizations (SDO) by its RTAM Community, SME selected ASTM International as the SDO for the new standards initiative. With a proven consensus process and state-of-the-art standards development infrastructure, ASTM was the logical choice to meet the broad international standards requirements of the diverse and dynamic field of additive manufacturing.

Participation in ASTM Committee F42 is open to all technical experts with an interest and stake in the future of additive manufacturing technologies including consumers, federal agencies, manufacturers, suppliers, trade and professional associations and members of academia. The initial scope of the new committee’s activities will be driven by subcommittees on Terminology, Test Methods, Processes, Materials and Design.