Legal and Regulatory

American Bureau of Shipping publishes guidance for DED, PBF and binder jet 3D printing

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has published Guidance Notes on Additive Manufacturing for marine and offshore industries. Published September 2018, the document outlines standard processes for qualifying directed energy deposition (DED), powder bed fusion (PBF) and binder jet technologies alongside their respective parts.

According to Derek Novak, Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering at ABS, “As technology evolves and industry finds new ways to streamline operations and improve efficiencies, ABS is at the forefront helping usher in the latest innovations,”

“Central to this new guidance is developing a process that helps manufacturers create repeatable and reliable results.”

ABS marine classification 

ABS is a marine classification society headquartered in Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1862 and has 200 established offices in 70 countries around the world.

Following categories outlined by ASTM International’s F42 committee, in 2017 ABS produced a maritime advisory on segments relating to metal additive manufacturing.

The newly published Guidance Notes are a comprehensive expansion on the advisory, referencing a range of readily available guidelines published by ASTM, and other leading bodies such as the FDA, NASA, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

The ABS Guidance Notes discusses the contents and formulation of a so-called “Cradle to Grave” file or “C2G.” Containing the process configuration & workflow diagram, part design, manufacturing description and inspection & testing package, the C2G master file is maintained through each stage of qualification from feasibility through to production.

The ABS Additive Manufacturing Qualification Process. Image via the ABS.
The ABS Additive Manufacturing Qualification Process. Image via ABS.

3D printing at sea

Also in the maritime manufacturing sector, ABS’ fellow international classification society DNV GL published guidelines for PBF based processes, and launched a class approval of manufacturer (AoM) program.

A chemical cargo vessel. Photo via the ABS.
A chemical cargo vessel. Photo via the ABS.

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Featured image shows a chemical cargo vessel. Photo via the ABS.