ASTM just released a standard “dictionary” for defining, analyzing, and sharing additive manufacturing (AM) data. Existing AM data are stored in different databases and management systems, each of which uses their own data dictionary. This makes it difficult for users to exchange the data for further value creation. This new dictionary (called ASTM F3490-21 Standard Practice for Additive Manufacturing — General Principles — Overview of Data Pedigree) solves this data exchange problem by providing a common language for different AM data systems and thus enabling system interoperability (i.e., allowing these data systems to communicate). This standard is a breakthrough for the AM discipline because it will facilitate more efficient data sharing and data reuse, which will lead to improved control and predictability of metal-based AM processes. ASTM F3490-21 is a fundamental standard, meaning that it will serve as a basis for additional, more application-specific standards. Since it is a more general standard, it will help everyone who uses AM, including AM material vendors, AM machine vendors, AM parts manufacturers, and end users of AM parts.
The NIST Systems Integration Division (SID)’s own Yan Lu serves as the technical contact for the new standard. The standard began as an AM common data dictionary that Dr. Lu created to define and structure data for her Additive Manufacturing Materials Database. Dr. Lu worked with AM data users and researchers across the AM industry to determine how to best structure and develop the dictionary. SID’s Paul Witherell and Saadia Razvi also contributed to the standard. Moving forward, Dr. Lu and ASTM are actively discussing how to standardize AM common data models.