Today, ASTM International announced the Powder Bed Fusion – Laser Beam (PBF-LB) Machine Operator Certification program developed by the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE). This certification provides a benchmark for assessing reliable and competent operations of metal PBF-LB machines.
Built on the joint ISO/ASTM standard for qualifying machine operators of laser metal PBF machines and equipment (ISO/ASTM 52942:2020), the new certification provides operators in compliance with the standard a stamp of approval.
The ASTM certification consists of both theoretical and practical assessments to evaluate the knowledge of the PBF-LB operator. The program ensures competencies in the following:
- Additive Manufacturing Procedure Specification (APS);
- Standard operating procedures;
- Machine management and build process monitoring;
- Post-processing optimization;
- Operator Maintenance of systems; and
- Powder material family specializations.
Assessments specific to machine models are required for certifying operators of a particular metal platform. EOS, a leading metal AM technology provider, worked closely with ASTM to create the assessments for their metal systems and pilot the program on its widely adopted EOS M 290.
“To successfully leverage AM technologies, we must pair those who are trained, and ASTM certified, for effective, efficient, and competent machine operations,” said Dr. Gregory Hayes, senior vice president, applied engineering at EOS North America. “EOS is proud to serve as the first AM equipment manufacturer to offer this personnel certification program. With ASTM, we are beginning to fill the need starting with the EOS M 290, but plan to expand certifications to cover all our metal and polymer platforms, and all material families.”
“Certification programs reinforce the use of standards and build trust and confidence in the use of AM technologies,” notes Mohsen Seifi, Ph.D., ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs. “This program is one of the first steps to fulfilling industry personnel certification needs and we look forward to quickly expanding to other machine vendor platforms. Together with key industry stakeholders, we can support reliable and competent use of the technology.”