Unveiling the ISO/ASTM 52939:2023: A New Benchmark 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 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 (ISO/TC 261), and ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Technologies Committee (F42).

The ASTM, previously known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is a global organization for standards located in Pennsylvania, US. There’s a continuing collaboration between ISO and ASTM that is geared towards setting a uniform set of standards for additive manufacturing.

A recently published standard outlines requirements for quality assurance in construction’s additive manufacturing. As stated by the ISO, it’s impossible to achieve risk mitigation, approval, and certification for Additive construction absent of ISO/ASTM standards. The newly released requirements are not limited to a particular material, and they don’t apply to metals.

This text details the standards for 3D printing construction processes, characteristics relevant to quality, and elements related to additive manufacturing construction operations. Significant steps about additive construction processes are outlined throughout the document. These procedures need to be supervised and regulated by a locally certified engineer to ensure the production of high-quality 3D printed structures.

ISO/ASTM 52939:2023 is applicable to all construction additive manufacturing technologies, and building elements for infrastructure and structure in commercial and residential applications.

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. 

It is reported that the global demand for construction is rising due to the persistent global housing crisis and the growth in infrastructure projects. According to the ISO, additive manufacturing could be a viable solution to these challenges.

Over recent years, additive manufacturing has undergone significant advancements for use in construction. Compared to traditional construction methods, 3D printing may offer a more durable, sustainable, and cost-effective solution that also offers higher efficiency.

Original source


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