What will 3D printing mean for standards, inspection and certification?

I recently attended the Global Manufacturing Festival in Sheffield and during one of the presentations the speaker questioned whether the forging industry would still be with us a few years hence.

He reasoned that 3D printers will be able to produce a product similar to the forged product with shorter lead times, less machining and less waste, in both materials and energy. Interestingly, he didn’t think it would replace the intricate castings used in industry.

Back in 2011, a drone aircraft was designed, printed and flying within a week in order to demonstrate the opportunities within 3D printing.

How are we going to inspect these items?

What standards will be applicable?

What will the flaws be termed?

Does this mean that all PCN certificate holders who currently hold a wrought product category either singularly or as part of a multi-sector qualification will need to be additionally qualified in a 3D powder metallurgy/plastics sector?


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