Newly Published ISO/ASTM 52939:2023: Setting the Standard for Construction 3D Printing


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published ISO/ASTM 52939:2023.

Titled “Additive manufacturing for construction — Qualification principles — Structural and infrastructure elements,” this standard aims to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency within the 3D printing construction industry.

“The purpose of this document is to outline the requirements necessary as a basis for production and delivery of high quality additively manufactured structures (residential or infrastructure) in the construction sector,” the ISO document stated.

The ISO is an independent expert body which creates standards defining technical specifications and guidelines to ensure the consistent and quality-controlled utilization of products, services and systems.

Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the ISO has now published over 24,500 international standards covering a wide range of technological and manufacturing processes.

A 3D printing construction site. Photo via the Case Studies in Construction Materials journal.

A new ISO/ASTM standard for construction 3D printing

Published in December 2023, ISO/ASTM 52939:2023 was prepared through a collaboration between the ISO’s Additive Manufacturing Technical Committee, and ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Technologies Committee.

ISO/TC 261, and ASTMInternational’s Additive Manufacturing Technologies Committee F42.

The ASTM, earlier identified as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization headquartered in Pennsylvania, US. The ongoing collateral between the ISO and ASTM aims to lay a unified set of principles for additive manufacturing.

This newly released standard states quality assurance prerequisites for additive manufacturing in the construction industry. As per the ISO, risk reduction, approval, and certification for Additive construction is hard to achieve without the essential ISO/ASTM standards. These newly issued requirements are not limited by material, and they do not cater to metals.

The document provides the rules for 3D printing construction processes, quality-related characteristics, and aspects tied to additive manufacturing construction operations. The document stresses upon important steps regarding additive construction processes. These steps need to be regulated and observed by a locally certified engineer to maintain high-quality 3D-printed structures.

ISO/ASTM 52939:2023 is applicable to all additive manufacturing technologies utilized in the construction industry, and structural and infrastructural building components for both residential and commercial use.

However, the document does not apply to environmental, health and safety aspects relating to the 3D printing facility setup, material handling, operating robotics, or the packing and shipping of equipment. What’s more, the new standard does not cover design approvals, material properties, characterization and testing.

Additive manufacturing and the construction industry

According to the recently published ISO document, the construction industry is facing a number of challenges, including labor shortages, project delays, increasing lead times, material wastage, and excessive Co2 use.

Furthermore, it is reported that the demand for global construction is skyrocketing due to the ongoing global housing crisis and the enlargement of infrastructure projects. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) asserts that additive manufacturing could indeed directly confront these issues.

The employment of additive manufacturing in construction has seen significant progress in recent times. Using 3D printing could turn out to be a more robust, sustainable, economical and efficient substitute as opposed to conventional methodologies in construction.

Original source


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