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As part of the ISO/ASTM 52900 series, the new standard specifies quality assurance requirements for manufacturing firms that use additive manufacturing technologies. The defined requirements are material- and manufacturing method-agnostic, but are only applicable to the 3D printing technologies specified in ISO/ASTM 52900. Specifically, the new standard defines criteria for 3D printing processes, quality-related factors along the process chain, and the sequence of activities conducted at 3D printing production sites.
“Using the new standard, component manufacturers can streamline supplier audits to an enormous extent,” says Simon Schlagintweit, Lead Auditor for Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD. “This facilitates the auditing process and ensures the quality of industrial-scale additive manufacturing throughout the supply chain.”
The need for ISO/ASTM 52920
When it comes to industrial 3D printing, end part quality is largely reliant on feedstock quality and machine calibration, meaning even the smallest inconsistencies in these factors can have a huge effect on the outcome of a build. The aim of ISO/ASTM 52920 is to standardize these factors, ensuring reliability in the process chain while improving confidence in 3D printing processes at additive manufacturing sites.
The standard is divided into three sections: ‘Qualification of the additive system operations’, ‘Quality assurance’, and ‘Verification of the part requirements’. Within these sections, the list of sub-sections includes topics such as data preparation, system setup, post-processing, the continuous improvement process, part specifications, and validation plans.
According to TÜV SÜD, ISO/ASTM 52920 was developed with an “integrated instead of a product-specific approach”, making it applicable to a wide variety of regulated industries. This includes aerospace, medical, automotive, and rail. The standard was developed collaboratively by the French Standardization Institute’s (AFNOR) ISO/TC 261 “Additive Manufacturing” and CEN/TC 438 “Additive Manufacturing Processes” technical committees and the DIN Standards Committee Technology of Materials’ “Additive Manufacturing” working committee.
It should be noted that environmental, health, and safety aspects are not defined by the standard as these are covered in ISO/ASTM 52931, ISO/ASTM 52932, ISO/ASTM 52933, ISO/ASTM 52934, and ISO/ASTM 52938-1. Before part manufacturers apply the new standard, a quality management system (such as ISO 9001) must also be in place.
TÜV SÜD and additive manufacturing
Owing to its 155+ year history in engineering services, TÜV SÜD is a leader in quality assurance for technologies such as additive manufacturing. The firm supports clients with training, audits, certification, advisory services, and reporting, ultimately contributing to the safe adoption and industrialization of 3D printing worldwide.
Just this month, TÜV SÜD released an industry-first 3D printing-specific guide to producing medical products while ensuring safety and repeatability. The company’s white paper guide was published to outline the standards that manufacturers need to meet at each stage of the 3D printing workflow, as well as the credentials required to put these into practice.
Earlier this year, the company also launched a specialized set of virtual training courses for those working in the 3D printing industry. With eight paid modules on everything from design validation to quality management, the webinars are designed to provide participants with tailored industry-specific compliance training, helping industry professionals with their understanding of DIN, ISO, and ASTM standards.
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Featured image shows TÜV SÜD’s HQ in Munich. Photo by Kubi Sertoglu/3D Printing Industry.