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ISO and ASTM, two well-known standard issuing authorities recently published ISO/ASTM 52939:2023. Named “Additive manufacturing for construction — Qualification principles — Structural and infrastructure elements,” the new standard aims to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency within the 3D printing construction industry.

Why now?

There’s a growing demand for construction globally due to housing crisis and larger infrastructure projects. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suggests construction 3D printing, could be a solution to tackle these challenges head-on.

The use of 3D printing has quite advanced over recent years as the technology is increasingly being proven to be a durable, and efficient alternative to traditional construction methods. The standard is quite timely as the construction 3D printing industry increasingly faces challenges about material use, large amounts of waste, CO2 footprint impacts and even labour shortage.

The purpose of this document is to outline the requirements necessary as a basis for production and delivery of high quality additively manufactured structures (residential or infrastructure) in the construction sector,” the ISO document stated.

The requirements are independent of the material(s) and process category used. The standard only concerns cementitious and polymeric materials and does not apply to metals.

This document specifies the criteria for additive construction processes, quality-relevant characteristics, and factors along AC system operations. It further specifies activities and sequences within an AC cell (additive construction site) and project.

This document applies to all additive manufacturing technologies in building and construction (load bearing and non-load bearing), structural and infrastructure building elements for residential and commercial applications and follows an approach oriented to the process.

This document does not cover environmental, health and safety aspects that apply to printing facility setup, material handling, operating of robotic equipment, and packing of equipment and/or elements for shipping but material supplier guidelines, robotic solution operating guidelines, and local and regional requirements are applicable.

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