3D printing will have a profound impact on the business models, value chains and economics of global manufacturing.

It enables the fabrication of customized and individual objects, in completely new business environments and potentially at home at some point in the future. It also opens up new opportunities for producing, in a cost-effective way, devices and components that cannot be manufactured efficiently using traditional techniques.

International standards play an important role in developing the additive manufacturing market. Besides standards for hardware and processes, information technology constitutes an essential element in the overall standardization value chain.

The data that drive a 3D printer can be generated either by a computer aided design (CAD) system, or a 3D scanner, or both. Their format must be interpretable by a machine and they need to be stored, exchanged, indexed and secured. Protecting data integrity is also critical when manufacturing safety or mission-critical devices or components.

Working Group 12 on 3D Printing and scanning was established to:

  • Serve as a focus of and proponent for the JTC 1 standardization program on 3D Printing and Scanning
  • Develop ICT related foundational standards for 3D Printing and Scanning upon which other standards can be developed
  • Develop other 3D Printing and Scanning standards that are built upon the foundational standards when relevant ISO and IEC committees that could address these standards do not exist or are unable to develop them
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in 3D Printing and Scanning standardization
  • Develop and maintain liaisons with all relevant ISO and IEC committees as well as with external organizations that have interests in 3D Printing and Scanning
  • Engage with 3D Printing and Scanning communities to raise awareness of JTC 1 standardization efforts and provide an open platform for discussion and further cooperation
  • Develop and maintain a list of existing 3D Printing and Scanning standards produced and standards development projects underway in ISO TCs, IEC TCs and JTC 1