UA to Host Meeting for 3-D Printing Experts

  • January 26th, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A global group of experts that devises standards for additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, will meet at The University of Alabama from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.

The Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies (F42) was formed in 2009 through ASTM International, one of the world’s largest standards organizations, and is based near Philadelphia. This meeting is the first time members in the fast-growing committee will hold their winter meeting outside of Philadelphia, said Dr. Steve Daniewicz, professor of mechanical engineering.

“We want to give Alabama more visibility in additive manufacturing, and hosting this meeting will help accomplish that goal,” Daniewicz said.

F42 meets twice a year, usually once in the United States and once in Europe, with two days of technical meetings. The committee, with a total membership of about 540, has six technical subcommittees. About 150 members typically attend each meeting.

All standards developed by F42 are published by ATSM International. The standards include technical specifications, test methods, guides and practices that people throughout the industry can use as a foundation for research and product development.

About a third of the attendees will come from outside the United States. Many come from academic, private and government research labs along with major manufacturers of 3-D printing equipment and their suppliers. Representatives from the industries of aerospace, automotive manufacturing, healthcare — fields investing heavily in these technologies — and others will also be at the meeting.

Daniewicz said additive manufacturing is still new, and standards need to be developed and strengthened so the benchmark of quality and safety is assured among a host of applications for the technology ranging from airplane parts to medical devices. F42 recently unveiled a framework for developing standards across a variety of areas and industries.

“The lure of additive manufacturing is to print real complicated shapes that otherwise could not be made traditionally, but we have to be careful to ensure structural integrity,” he said.

The committee kicks off with an introductory presentation in Ferguson Center at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.