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ISO and ASTM define standard for additive manufacturing in construction

Robotic arms and additive manufacturing are transforming how materials are handled and how edifices are constructed. However, as robots enter new environments and undertake new errands, the necessity matures for developers, integrators, and end users to be cognizant of quality and safety prerequisites. The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, has posted documents to assist them encounter those prerequisites.

Standard defines safe design for industrial end effectors

An example of relevant industrial benchmarks, ISO/TR 20218-1:2018 provides guidance on the safe design and integration of end effectors for robots. It also appends to ISO 10218-2:2011 on how to integrate robots.

The document encompasses collaborative robot applications, where robots share workspace with individuals.

“In such collaborative applications, the end-effector design is of major importance, particularly characteristics such as shapes, surfaces and application function,” wrote ISO.

It emphasized the importance of conducting safety assessments. Even when robots are marketed as collaborative, their payloads or motion may not be.

Safety incidents are rare, but interested parties should execute their due diligence when developing and deploying robots, noted Aaron Prather of ASTM International.

ISO and ASTM publish first joint standard for AC

Proclaimed this week, ISO/ASTM 52939:2023 specifies qualification principles for structural and infrastructure elements in additive manufacturing for construction. It provides criteria for additive construction processes, quality, and factors for system operations, as well as processes on a site.

The new standard applies to all additive manufacturing technologies in building and construction of load bearing and non-load bearing structures, as well as structural elements for residential and commercial applications. It does not encompass metals or operational safety.

ISO/ASTM 52939:2023 is the first jointly published standard from ISO and ASTM International, said Prather. Standards bodies typically focus on different technologies, but global cooperation can refine worker safety and product quality, he noted.

“This addresses moving from traditional construction standards and bridging over to additive,” Prather told media. “It could be the first step on many to come.”

The standard is voluntary, and builders must pursue local and regional requirements, noted ISO. In October, ASTM International proclaimed a roadmap for digitalization of the construction commerce.

Additive manufacturing transforming construction

Several enterprises have showcased the potential of additive manufacturing for production-grade elements and 3D-printed edifices. These arrangements often combine concrete extruders with gantry robots or industrial robot arms. There has also been inquiry into employing drones for repair of difficult-to-reach structures.

Possible advantages encompass stronger architectures, less waste of materials, and even reduction in carbon emissions. The global market for 3D printing arrangements in construction is modest but could increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8% by 2030, as per Virtue Market Research.

As the construction commerce adopts more automation and robotics for fabrication, infrastructure inspection, and additive manufacturing, standards akin to ISO/ASTM 52939 will be essential to guarantee quality, interoperability and safety across solutions. By unifying around technical benchmarks early on, the commerce can steer clear of proprietary limitations that might restrain widescale acceptance of these next-gen technologies.

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