Oct 30, 2018

Lockheed Martin First to Receive UL Additive Manufacturing Safety Certification

Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defense giant, is the first company to be certified for Additive Manufacturing safety by UL, the global safety consulting and certification company.

UL is a global independent safety science company. It boasts more than a century of expertise in innovating safety solutions. The company is now focusing on additive manufacturing.

Last year, UL drew up a set of safety guidelines for facilities using Additive Manufacturing to abide by. The list, called ‘Outline of Investigation for Additive Manufacturing Facility Safety Management’ or UL 3400, addresses the numerous hazards associated with 3D printing.

Lockheed Martin‘s Additive Design and Manufacturing Center (ADMC) in Sunnyvale, California, which focuses on space applications, received UL 3400 certification in October, making the company the first to be certified for additive manufacturing safety.

With multiple stakes in aerospace and defence, Lockheed Martin uses 3D printing in numerous ways. For example, All3DP has previously covered its use of 3D Printing to create Titanium Domes for Satellite Fuel Tanks and its AI-Driven 3D Printed Robots.

Balu V Nair, UL’s AM Lead Development Engineer, explains the reason for developing the UL 3400 certification by saying: “Employers, employees, local regulators as well as insurance companies who have to underwrite Additive Manufacturing facilities, were not fully aware of the inherent material and technology risks.”

UL Encourages Lockheed Martin to “Move Forward with Confidence”

UL has decided that there are three “layers” to additive manufacturing safety. These include the entire facility as well as the materials and equipment being used. It also references all applicable standards from organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association and the US’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Nair explains: “Safety is designed rather than built… Not a single standard or statutory guideline was available that specifically focused on AM. Other standards and guidelines were developed for conventional manufacturing processes. We decided to address this industry need by developing a set of guidelines with exclusive focus on additive manufacturing.”

Lockheed Martin’s ADMC facility is unique as it combines materials research and the manufacturing floor. This encourages and enables engineers to design and produce satellite parts at half the cost and time usually required.

Thomas Malko, Vice President of Engineering & Technology at Lockheed Martin Space, stated, “Lockheed Martin built the first 3D printed parts bound for deep space on the Juno spacecraft and we’ve been at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing ever since…. Now with UL certification, we can move forward with confidence, both within the company and with our customers, showing we are paving the way for the factory of the future.”

Source: Metal AM

License: The text of "Lockheed Martin First to Receive UL Additive Manufacturing Safety Certification" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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