3D printing: a first international standard in the field of safety

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Additive manufacturing, or “3D printing”, has been booming for over ten years. Despite its rapid growth, the sector wanted to take into account operator safety at an early stage. This desire was reflected in the inclusion of this subject as a priority in standardisation work.

An initial experimental French standard XP E 67-006 “Additive manufacturing – safety, health and environment – requirements for metallic materials” was published in 2020. It served as the basis for the development of the international standard ISO/ASTM 52931. Led by France, the work of this international group launched in early 2018 addressed safety from the receipt of the raw material to the output of the part. The standard, published in February 2023, did not deal with the safety requirements of machines from a design point of view, which is the subject of subsequent work.

During the drafting of these various documents, INRS contributed its expertise in terms of risk assessment methodology and proposals for prevention and protection measures. In addition, the prevention expert following the subject had to assert the position of the “occupational injuries/illnesses” branch. At the international level, this involvement also resulted in the search for universally accepted prevention and protection solutions and means of identifying the hazards available, regardless of the country concerned.

Based on the success of this work, France proposed to transpose it to polymer additive manufacturing. TC 261 unanimously accepted this proposal in March 2023. France was entrusted with the leadership of the working group in charge of drafting the text, with the objective of completing it by the end of 2024.

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