Legal and Regulatory

ASTM and America Makes launch strategic guide for additive manufacturing data

The Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) of global standards developer ASTM International has debuted a strategic guide that identifies gaps, challenges, solutions and action plans for additive manufacturing data, developed in collaboration with America Makes

The guide was established out of a December 2019 workshop on additive manufacturing data management and schema, which was jointly organized by ASTM International and America Makes, and held in the Washington DC area. Summarizing discussions that took place during the workshop, the strategic guide intends to improve the additive manufacturing supply chain by overcoming challenges relating to data sharing in the industry.

“The guide highlights the importance of data management and data principles which will benefit the broader AM supply chain, and will serve as a resource to strengthen collaboration and ease the challenges common to AM data sharing,” explains Brandon Ribic, Technology Director of America Makes. 

“We are grateful to all who worked on this effort and believe this guide compliments the efforts of the AMSC and America Makes’ technology maturation strategic objectives.”

Additive manufacturing at AMCOE. Photo via ASTM International/AMCoE.
Additive manufacturing at AMCOE. Photo via ASTM International/AMCoE.

Developing standards for additive manufacturing

An international standards organization, ASTM International develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services, with over 12,000 standards operating globally.

Seeking to enable industry-wide adoption of additive manufacturing, the organization has recently demonstrated a focus on developing standards for the technology. The AM CoE program was launched in August 2018, aimed at advancing the current state of additive manufacturing. It was established alongside EWI, the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) and an Auburn University-NASA collective. 

It also formed the ASTM Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies in 2009; a group of over 700 expert members who create and revise additive manufacturing standards. All standards developed by F42 are published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards.

Young woman in white lab coat working with 3d printer. Photo via ASTM International/AM COE.

America Makes on the other hand is an Ohio-based national accelerator for additive manufacturing. The organization has established numerous initiatives to aid the adoption and development of additive manufacturing across various industries, including aerospace and defense

Working with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), America Makes has also worked on developing a standardization roadmap for additive manufacturing. Together, they formed the Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), a cross-sector coordinating body aiming to accelerate the development of industry-wide additive manufacturing standards and specifications.

America makes logo on the 3D printed puzzle from RAPID + TCT 2018. Photo by Beau Jackson
America Makes logo on the 3D printed puzzle from RAPID + TCT 2018 in Texas. Photo by Beau Jackson

The importance of data in additive manufacturing

From ASTM International and America Makes’ workshop, a key conclusion was that recent developments in digital data acquisition, analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and modeling could quickly accelerate the additive manufacturing development timeline. However, this growth has yet to be observed, due to gaps in the additive manufacturing data ecosystem. 

“A key and large gap in the development of an AM data ecosystem is how to easily and securely generate, store, analyze, and share critical and vital data,” according to Mohsen Seifi, Ph.D, ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs. “A sub-gap is the consistency of the data that is gathered across multiple groups.”

As such, the strategic guide developed as a result of the workshop aims to plug in those gaps, while providing solutions and potential action plans: “The guide provides a summary of discussions during the workshop and can be used by all industry stakeholders and AM experts who want to participate in the development of an AM data ecosystem and contribute to standardization,” explains Mahdi Jamshidinia, Ph.D., ASTM International’s additive manufacturing R&D project manager.

Alongside the guide, another outcome of the workshop was the creation of a new subcommittee on data within the existing F42 additive manufacturing technologies committee, known as F42.08. This new subcommittee will develop and perform value-stream mapping to identify the needs, processes, tools, opportunities, and dependencies necessary to provide a complete understanding of the digital thread. Standardization of additive manufacturing common data dictionary (CDD) is one of the initial documents that the subcommittee is currently working on.

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Featured image shows a young woman in a white lab coat working with a 3D printer. Photo via ASTM International/AM COE.