Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing Qualification 291

Additive Manufacturing Qualification 291 explores current standards and challenges related to qualifying AM machines and processes. In order to make end-use parts at large scale with AM technology, manufacturers must demonstrate their ability to consistently produce quality parts based on current standards. However, standards exist for only some AM processes. Since AM parts must meet the same safety and performance standards as traditionally produced parts, AM users must also develop in-house standards and quality management systems for AM production.

Engineers and technicians producing AM part designs must focus on continuous improvement to develop best practices for overcoming the challenges of AM standardization. After completing the class, users will be familiar with requirements for qualifying AM materials, machines, parts, and processes.

  • Difficulty Intermediate

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 11

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • The Importance of Qualification in Additive Manufacturing
  • Standards for AM
  • Standards for AM Qualification
  • Standardization Challenges for AM Qualification
  • Review: Standards for AM
  • Material Qualification
  • Machine Qualification
  • AM Process Qualification
  • AM Part Qualification
  • Data Collection and Analysis for AM Qualification
  • Review: AM Qualification
  • Explain the importance of AM qualification.
  • Describe standards related to AM qualification.
  • Describe standards related to AM qualification.
  • Describe considerations for addressing AM standardization gaps.
  • Describe considerations for qualifying raw materials for AM.
  • Describe considerations for qualifying AM machines.
  • Describe considerations for qualifying AM processes.
  • Describe considerations for qualifying AM end-use parts.
  • Describe how data is used at each stage of AM qualification.
Vocabulary Term

additive manufacturing

AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object from a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.


A non-metallic substance used to bond two or more materials together. Adhesives are sometimes used as workholding for non-metallic, delicate, and irregularly shaped workpieces.

Aerospace Material Specifications

AMS. A group of standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that govern material requirements for aerospace equipment. SAE Aerospace Material Specifications cover the selection and processing of a variety of materials to ensure material quality.


Additive manufacturing. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object from a three-dimensional computer model. AM methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.

American Welding Society

AWS. A professional organization that supports the welding industry and promotes welding and related processes. The American Welding Society provides industry-standard codes and certification procedures.

artificial intelligence

AI. A computer program with algorithms that function as behavioral rules, allowing a machine or computer to imitate intelligent human behavior. Artificial intelligence allows machines to perform a process with autonomy.

ASTM F1537-20

A standard developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials that covers required properties for wrought Cobalt-28 Chromium-6 Molybdenum alloys used for surgical implants. ASTM F1537-20 defines material and mechanical properties for investment castings and well as part stock for implants made from this alloy.

ASTM F2924-14

A standard developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that covers the production of components using titanium-6aluminum-4vanadium (Ti-6Al-4V) with laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). ASTM F2924-14 specifies properties of materials as well as guidelines for components used to produce parts made of Ti-6Al-4V with L-PBF.

ASTM International

An organization that writes and updates standards for a broad range of materials, including metals. ASTM International, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, has created seven classifications for additive manufacturing (AM) processes.


The automatic control of equipment, processes, or systems. Automation is an efficient means of performing manufacturing processes.

binder jetting

An additive manufacturing (AM) method in which liquid binder is used to join powdered materials to create parts. Binder jetting can create parts out of metal, polymer, or ceramic.

build materials

The substance used to create an additively manufactured part. Build material includes metals, polymers, composites, and ceramics.

build parameters

An adjustable variable that controls an aspect of an additive manufacturing process. Build parameters for powder AM machines include temperature settings, layer thickness, printing speeds, and other details.


A hard, brittle material that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion. Ceramic parts can be created through additive manufacturing (AM) processes such as binder jetting and selective laser sintering (SLS).


Validation that a person or company has achieved a certain standard. Certification may be awarded by a school, a professional organization, or another governing body.

cloud computing

A combination of hardware and software computing technology typically provided by a third party that allows clients to access, store, and process data remotely through an internet connection. Servers used in cloud computing can provide multiple clients with access to unlimited storage and processing capabilities but may pose greater cybersecurity risks than secure local area network servers (LANs).

computer-aided design

CAD. A method of designing two- and three-dimensional objects using computers and software. Computer-aided design is most often used to create part models for production.


The presence of any unwanted substances in a product. Contamination can reduce the effectiveness of medical equipment and cause health issues for patients.


The process of hardening a material through exposure to heat or another hardening agent, such as ultraviolet (UV) light. Curing is used to harden brittle additively manufactured parts created using powder-based methods and parts made from liquid photopolymer.


Directed energy deposition. An additive manufacturing process in which focused thermal energy is used to melt materials as they are deposited. DED is often used with powdered or wire metal feedstock.

design for additive manufacturing

DFAM. The methodology of planning, testing, and creating an additively manufactured part that functions optimally. Design for additive manufacturing allows engineers to mostly focus on part functionality.

digital thread

An integrated view of all the data and information about a machine or process throughout its lifecycle. The digital thread connects information from all aspects of a product into one seamless network.


A measurement of space, especially length, width, and height. Dimensions of a part are detailed in a blueprint or CAD model.

direct metal deposition

DMD. A directed energy deposition (DED) process that uses a laser or plasma arc to melt build materials as they are deposited on a build platform. Direct metal deposition most frequently uses metal powders as build materials.

directed energy deposition

DED. An additive manufacturing process in which focused thermal energy is used to melt materials as they are deposited. Directed energy deposition is often used with powdered or wire metal feedstock.


Designed to be used directly by a consumer or directly in another manufactured product. End-use products created by additive manufacturing (AM) include medical implants, custom dental devices, and camera equipment.

generative design

An advanced type of computer-aided design (CAD) that uses cloud computing and artificial intelligence to produce alternative designs of components. Generative design software can allow engineers to innovate designs much faster than traditional CAD software.

glass transition temperature

The temperature at which a rigid solid becomes pliable and can be formed, shaped, or molded. The glass transition temperature is slightly below the melting point.


A mechanical device on a robot that uses rotary and linear actuators to mimic the motion of the human hand. Grippers have complex shapes that can be easily produced using additive manufacturing.

heat treatment

A controlled heating and cooling process used to change a material's structure and alter its physical and mechanical properties. Heat treatment often alters a material's hardness.

IATF 16949:2016

A revised version of standard ISO/TS 16949 developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) to improve international standards in the automotive industry. IATF 16949:2016 includes additional input from a range of organizations in the automotive industry and throughout the automotive supply chain.

Industrial Internet of Things

IIoT. A network of smart industrial machines and devices. The Industrial Internet of Things is the manufacturing-specific part of the overall Internet of Things (IoT).


The process of a substance entering a porous material in order to fill any empty spaces or voids. Infiltration is a specialized post-processing step that is sometimes used to harden and strengthen parts produced by additive manufacturing.

internal sensors

A type of sensor that is located inside a machine or other device. Internal sensors inside a part can provide feedback about the state of the part.

International Organization for Standardization

ISO. A nongovernmental organization based in Switzerland that develops and establishes standards, rules, and guidelines designed to ensure that products, processes, and services are fit for their purposes. The International Organization for Standardization publishes standards for a broad range of industries.

ISO/ASTM 52941:2020

A standard developed by ASTM International and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) machines. ISO/ASTM 52941:2020 covers test and inspection methods for qualifying L-PBF machines for aerospace part production.

ISO/TS 16949

An automotive supply chain standard developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). ISO/TS 16949 was intended to improve and standardize international automotive supply chain certification and was eventually revised as IATF 16949:2016.

laser powder bed fusion

L-PBF. An additive manufacturing (AM) method that uses a laser to fuse or melt together layers of powdered polymer, metal, ceramic, or other material. Laser powder bed fusion processes include selective laser sintering (SLS) and selective laser melting (SLM).

layer width

A measurement of the amount of material applied to a layer horizontally in one pass of an additive manufacturing (AM) process. Layer width helps determine build rate, though too high a layer width can lead to thermal distortion.


The series of stages a product goes through from conception to the end of its useful life. The lifecycle includes design, production, distribution, and operation stages.


Laser powder bed fusion. An additive manufacturing (AM) method that uses a laser to fuse or melt together layers of powdered polymer, metal, ceramic, or other material. L-PBF processes include selective laser sintering (SLS) and selective laser melting (SLM).

machine learning

ML. The process that enables a digital system to analyze data in order to build predictive models. Machine learning systematically solves problems using highly complex algorithms.


The necessary and basic support and repair of machines that involves tasks such as lubricating, adjusting, and replacing machine parts. Maintenance helps to reduce machine breakdowns and ensure user safety.


Any malicious code or software that can potentially harm a computer, device, or network, or retrieve data from the network or device without authorization. Malware often exists undetected on systems for extended periods of time.

mechanical properties

A characteristic that describes how a material reacts when subjected to a force that attempts to stretch, compress, bend, dent, scratch, or break it. Mechanical properties include strength, toughness, ductility, and hardness.

melting point

The temperature at which a material changes from a solid to a liquid. Melting points can be very low, like in some polymers, or very high, like in ceramics.


The technique or science of separating metals from their ores, creating alloys, and altering their properties. Metallurgy is important for optimizing metal part production using additive manufacturing (AM) technology.


The shape and alignment of microscopic components in a material. Microstructure helps determine the properties of a material.

MIL_STD 3049

A standard developed by the Department of Defense (DOD) that specifies guidelines for the restoration of components using direct metal deposition (DMD). MIL_STD 3049 covers material selection, inspection, and other guidelines for DMD repair.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA. A civil government organization concerned with the national space program, aeronautics, and related research. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the largest civil consumer of U.S. aerospace products.


A part that meets consumer or manufacturer specifications, including tolerance and surface finish requirements, directly after it is manufactured. Net shape parts do not need any further post processing after they are created.

nondestructive testing

NDT. A category of inspection processes that evaluate a part's properties and performance using methods that do not damage or permanently alter the part. Nondestructive testing methods include visual testing, liquid penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, eddy current testing, ultrasonic testing, and radiographic testing.


A natural or synthetic material that consists of very large molecules held together by either a secondary bond or a primary bond. Polymers include silk, nylon, rayon, and plastics.


A finishing process used to clean, grind, or otherwise prepare an additive manufacturing (AM) part for use by a manufacturer or other consumer. Common AM post-processing steps include removing support structures, heat treating, improving surface finish, and bringing the part into tolerance.

predictive maintenance

A maintenance approach that involves testing and monitoring machines to predict machine failures by using equipment such as sensors and other devices. In predictive maintenance, periodic readings are compared to baseline readings in order to identify problems.


A physical or mechanical characteristic of a material that distinguishes it from other materials. Properties determine how a material will perform in different environments.


Designed by a specific company for use only with its own systems. Proprietary materials include many polymers and superalloys that have been designed for specific applications.


An artificial implant, device, or limb that replaces a missing body part. Prosthetics may also refer to the design, fabrication, and fitting process involved with these devices.


Quality assurance. The overall effort by a manufacturer to ensure all parts and products meet consumer or regulatory standards. QA is a challenge for additive manufacturing (AM) operations because the part build process can be highly var

quality assurance

QA. The overall effort by a manufacturer to ensure all parts and products meet consumer or regulatory standards. Quality assurance is a challenge for additive manufacturing (AM) operations because the part build process can be highly variable.

quality management systems

QMS. The objectives and processes of a company that work together to focus the company toward quality and customer satisfaction. A quality management system consists of written documents that outline the necessary activities and procedures.

radiographic testing

RT. A nondestructive testing method that uses electromagnetic radiation, in the form of x-rays or gamma rays, to produce a picture of the internal structure of a material. Radiographic testing images display discontinuities and defects in a material as dark spots.

rapid prototyping

A product development technique that uses additive manufacturing (AM) methods to create a part model. Rapid prototyping allows manufacturers to quickly create functional part models in a short time period, reducing lead time.

raw materials

An unprocessed or lightly processed substance, often referred to as feedstock, that is used in additive manufacturing (AM) machines to build parts or components. Raw materials for AM commonly come in powder, pellet, wire, or semi-liquid form.

regulatory compliance

When a business follows state, federal, and international laws and regulations relevant to its operations. Regulatory compliance varies by industry.


The ability of a machine or process to continually deliver accurate and precise results. Repeatability measures how consistently a machine can replicate identical or near-identical parts.

reverse engineering

A process that allows a person to capture three-dimensional geometric data about an existing object and convert that into a CAD design. Reverse engineering is being increasingly used among AM manufacturers.

Rockwell hardness test

A hardness test that measures the degree of penetration into a material caused by a cone-shaped or ball indenter that is applied under a fixed load. A Rockwell hardness test applies two static loads to the material during the test.

SAE AMS 7001-2018

A standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) covering the processing of a specific type of nickel alloy powder for use in additive manufacturing (AM). SAE AMS 7001-2018 helps ensure the nickel-alloy powder has high corrosion and heat resistance properties.

SAE AMS 7002-2018

A standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) covering processing requirements for metal powder used in additive manufacturing (AM) for aerospace parts. SAE AMS 7002-2018 specifies general guidelines for all metal powders used in AM.

SAE AMS 7003-2018

A standard developed by SAE International that specifies part production using laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). SAE AMS 7003-2018 provides guidelines for machine controls to produce repeatable, accurate results with L-PBF.

SAE AMS 7022

A standard developed by SAE International that specifies part production using binder jetting. SAE AMS 7022 provides guidelines for machine controls to produce repeatable, accurate results with binder jetting.

SAE International

An organization of engineers that sets most industry standards for the testing, measuring, and designing of automobiles and their components. SAE International was formerly called the Society of Automotive Engineers.

safety standards

A practice or policy that a company puts in place in order to preserve the health and well-being of employees, equipment, and facilities. Safety standards for aerospace parts may be difficult or impossible to meet using additive manufacturing (AM) processes.


A device that detects a change in a physical stimulus and turns it into a signal that can be measured or recorded. Sensors may be connected to a machine or system in order to collect operational data that is later analyzed.

shot peening

A finishing method that uses a propelled stream of round shot beads to cold work metal surfaces. Shot peening corrects minor surface defects and strengthens the material.

smart manufacturing

Technologically integrated manufacturing that creates and uses data in real time to improve manufacturing efficiency. Smart manufacturing is an enhancement of traditional manufacturing automation.


An established policy regarding specific product requirements or a particular practice or method. Standards cover a range of topics, from the required properties of a material to the documentation necessary across the supply chain.

supply chain management

The process of planning, implementing, and controlling supply chain activities to achieve maximum customer value and sustain competitive advantage. Supply chain management oversees each organization in the supply chain, from development and sourcing to production and delivery.

surface finish

The degree of roughness and variation on the surface of a part after it has been manufactured. Initial surface finish quality varies depending on the additive manufacturing (AM) process used and the build parameters.

surgical implants

A device installed on the surface or inside of a human body, usually through surgery. Implants perform essential functions such as monitoring body functions and supporting nearby organs and bodily structures.

test coupons

A sample part or piece of material for the purpose of testing and inspection. Test coupons have exactly the same variables as outlined in the part specification.


An unwanted but acceptable deviation between an actual part dimension and its intended design. Tolerances are assessed during the inspection stage of manufacturing.

topology optimization

The arrangement of geometric or material components in a part in a way that uses materials most efficiently. Topology optimization software uses algorithms to determine the least amount of material that can be used in specific areas of a part without compromising part functionality.

traditional manufacturing

The process of creating a part by shaping or removing material from a workpiece. Traditional manufacturing operations include metal cutting and forming.


A systematic, standardized approach to solving problems quickly and efficiently. Troubleshooting focuses on identifying the root cause of a problem and eliminating that cause to create a permanent solution.

ultrasonic testing

UT. A nondestructive testing method that uses high-frequency ultrasonic waves to detect internal part discontinuities and defects. During ultrasonic testing, reflected sound waves are converted into electrical signals, which technicians then evaluate.

useful life

A designation in NASA standard NASA-STD-6016A that describes the performance requirements for the lifecycle of a specific product. Useful life guidelines determine material selection for critical-use parts.


Any difference that exists between two or more related things. Variation is an unavoidable occurrence.


A method or device for securing a workpiece for a machining operation. Workholding can include chucks, vises, and bolts.