ABS publishes 3D printing guidance notes

SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 — Classification society ABS has published the ABS Guidance Notes on Additive Manufacturing, establishing a consistent approach to three dimensional printing of marine and offshore materials and equipment.

"As technology evolves and industry finds new ways to streamline operations and improve efficiencies, ABS is at the forefront helping usher in the latest innovations," said ABS Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering, Derek Novak. "Central to this new guidance is developing a process that helps manufacturers create repeatable and reliable results."

Additive manufacturing has the potential to shrink the supply chain and lead times for specialized and complex parts, introducing new efficiencies across the industry, notes ABS. Critical for those considering additive manufacturing techniques is a consistent process that results in a final product with the desired properties and qualities.

The qualification process accommodates flexible fabrication, enabling a single additive manufacturing system to produce a wide range of parts while maintaining repeatable results and allowing for regular evaluation.

"In crafting this guidance, we recognized the importance of flexibility in additive manufacturing and outlined a process that allows for swift changes and alterations without affecting the ultimate quality," said ABS Director of Material and Equipment, Demetri Stroubakis. "Additive manufacturing is a game changer for the marine and offshore industries, impacting every part of the supply chain. Components with complex geometry, that once required the combination of multiple pieces to create the part, can now be produced as a single unit. Advancements in this technology will create new efficiencies, driven by design innovation, reduced manufacturing time, and improvements in parts availability."

The ABS Guidance Notes define a procedure for qualifying additive manufactured parts, as well as the processes and systems used to create them, including directed energy deposition, powder bed fusion and binder jetting.

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