Lack of standards for additive manufacturing in metal

1 July, 2020

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, in metal, is a relatively new technology that has developed quickly and has seen strong market growth. However, a lack of standards hinders development and places continued growth at jeopardy. That is the outcome of a survey conducted by metals research institute Swerim, SIS, Chalmers University of Technology and RISE. Results of the survey will now aid the development of standardization in this area.

For industry, use of additive manufacturing presents many advantages. Among other things, this technology can be used to create custom components and complex designs that cannot be achieved using conventional methods. 

In the joint project, the collaborating partners have asked Swedish industry about the need for standards for additive manufacturing in metal. The project has been funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.

"Our survey shows that there is a definite need for more standards. To enable industrialization of the technology, standards are needed for quality assurance of both finished products and processes. In addition, standards are needed for determining the quality of the metal powders that are used in the processes. When standardization lags, manufacturing slows down, market growth is hindered and it is more difficult for Swedish industry to be globally competitive. That is what we hope to prevent," says Annika Strondl, project manager, Swedish Arena for Additive Manufacturing of Metals, Swerim.

Results from the survey will provide the basis for a strategy towards standardization for metal additive manufacturing. The results will also be used to identify the need for research that will support standardization.

"Today there are international plans for standardization and a roadmap for industrialization of metal additive manufacturing in Sweden, RAMP-UP. A priority for Sweden was therefore to conduct a strategic survey at the national level in order to identify the most important standardization needs, and to guide efforts towards contributing to, and influencing, international standardization work," explains Ann-Sofie Sjöblom, project manager, the Swedish Institute for Standards, SIS.

Photo: Test pieces produced via additive manufacturing for measurement of mechanical properties. Good control of reproducibility is essential for developing a standard.

More information

For more information, see the Swedish Arena for Additive Manufacturing of Metals.

Link to the report: Standardiz ation of Metal Additive Manufacturing – needs from Swedish industry