3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is continuing its rapid advance across all fronts. It is beginning to touch every industry and new applications are being found every day. The fast growth is great for the industry, but a tipping point is being reached where the vast number of independent companies and technologies need to come together in a meaningful way for the creation of standards.
One of the biggest challenges today for widespread adoption of additive manufacturing in actual production parts is the need for reliable qualification standards. Many of the additive manufacturing processes differ quite a bit and making sense of them can be a challenge, even for those in the industry.
A major step was taken last year when the reputable American National Standards Institute (ANSI) entered into a partnership with the National Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which goes by America Makes. Together, these organizations created the Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) to create additive manufacturing standards across the entire industry to enable the growth of the additive manufacturing everywhere.
AMSC Creates 3D Printing Roadmap
This past February, AMSC published an additive manufacturing roadmap that first identified existing standards, and then those already in development. A primary purpose of the roadmap was to identify areas where standards were missing and try to also make recommendations of how best to prioritize addressing those gaps. AMSC is being very open with its effort and encourages anyone to participate who is interested in providing resources to accelerate its progress in creating standards.
With standards in place, AMSC envisions they will help stimulate innovation and growth while also increasing interoperability across many different technologies. When customers become comfortable with qualifications standards and also what to expect out of a given additive manufactured part, it will go a long way to driving wider adoption. There is good cause for optimism with AMSC and its charter to bring reliable and meaningful standards to the additive manufacturing industry.
If you would like to view the AMSC roadmap, it is available here.