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Additive Manufacturing Benchmark Test Series (AM-Bench)

A continuing series of highly controlled benchmark tests for additive manufacturing, with modeling challenge problems. Results are discussed at the corresponding conference series.

Banner images of AM testbed, cross section of a laser trace on metal and the build geometry

Measurement data for the 7 sets of regular metal AM and polymer AM benchmarks completed in 2022 are being released as quickly as possible.  Solution keys for the 2022 Challenge Problems and links to the corresponding measurement descriptions and results may be found here.

We are pleased to report that the extensive 2022 benchmark measurements, challenge problems for the modeling community, and conference (AM Bench 2022) were completed successfully.  We thank our many collaborators from 10 NIST divisions and 20 partner organizations for their hard work and dedication in making these successes possible. In addition to 7 sets of regularly scheduled metal AM and polymer AM benchmarks, we completed our first asynchronous set of benchmarks that is not tied to the regular benchmark schedule.  Such asynchronous benchmarks provide increased flexibility in supporting the needs of the modeling community. Our new AM Bench 2022 data systems are also online and we are expanding the sets of available data and metadata as quickly as possible. Lastly, we are working closely with our measurement partners and the broader AM community to develop plans for future sets of benchmark measurements and challenge problems, with the next regular round scheduled for 2025.

what is am bench?

9th build plate of AM Bench 2022 test artifacts
9th build plate of AM Bench 2022 test artifacts

AM Bench is a NIST-led organization that provides a continuing series of AM benchmark measurements, challenge problems, and conferences with the primary goal of enabling modelers to test their simulations against rigorous, highly controlled additive manufacturing benchmark measurement data.  All AM Bench data are permanently archived for public use using comprehensive, custom data management systems. The first round of benchmark measurements, challenge problems, and conference (AM Bench 2018) were completed in 2018 and the second round was completed in 2022, following a one-year delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  AM Bench follows a nominal 3-year cycle with the next set of measurements, challenge problems, and conference scheduled for completion in 2025.  Additional asynchronous benchmarks are also being planned.

AM Bench partners broadly with the AM research community.  If you have ideas for future AM benchmarks, or if you wish to partner with us on conducting such benchmarks, please contact the lead AM Bench organizers listed below.


AM Bench was established to develop benchmark measurements for all AM processes and materials.  However, the requirement for highly controlled and quantitative measurements severely limits the number of benchmark measurements that can be conducted in any given test cycle.  Thus, one of the key challenges faced by AM Bench is to select benchmark measurements, processes, and materials that are both technically feasible and have the highest impact on the AM community. We thank the AM Bench Scientific Committee for the valuable advice they provided in selecting the final materials and processes that were used for AM Bench 2018 and AM Bench 2022.

Local crystallographic orientations within a single leg of an as-built AM Bench 2022 test artifact
Local crystallographic orientations within a single leg of an as-built AM Bench 2022 test artifact


    The 2022 benchmarks include both metals AM and polymers AM.  For metals, 3 sets of benchmarks focused on laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) of the nickel-based superalloy 718 and 2 sets of benchmarks included follow-on mechanical performance and microstructure measurements for the 2018 LPBF studies using the nickel-based superalloy 625.  Taken together, these benchmarks cover the full processing-structure-properties range, including feedstock characterization, in situ measurements during the build process, heat treatments, 2D and 3D microstructure characterization, measurements of residual strains and part deflection, and mechanical behavior measurements. For polymers, one set of benchmarks focused on material extrusion (MatEx) of polycarbonate test objects, and another set of benchmarks focused on vat photopolymerization measurements.  Finally, an asynchronous set of benchmark measurements was completed in early 2022 and focused on melt pool and laser coupling dynamics during high-power laser interactions with Ti-alloy and Al-alloy bare metal surfaces.  Links to descriptions of the 2022 benchmark measurements, challenge problems, and results are provided on the left sidebar.


    The 2018 benchmarks included both metals AM and polymers AM.  For metals, the focus was on LPBF of both a nickel-based superalloy, 625, and a martensitic, precipitation-hardenable stainless steel, 15-5.  Both 3-D builds and single laser tracks on bare metal plates were conducted.  For polymers, the focus was on thermoplastic AM technologies, and we identified the two most widely used approaches for AM-Bench: MatEx and LPBF, also sometimes referred to as selective laser sintering (SLS).  The MatEx benchmark focused on polycarbonate and the LPBF focused on polyamide 12 (nylon 12).  Links to descriptions of the 2018 benchmark measurements, challenge problems, and results are provided on the left sidebar.


    The AM Bench benchmarks include blind challenge problems to the AM modeling community where AM modelers are asked to predict the AM Bench measurement results.  These challenge problems have proven to be extremely popular, with 138 submissions to AM Bench challenge problems in 2022. The award winners may be found within the Awards section of this website.

    Solid cooling rate measured in situ during AM Bench 2022 build
    Solid cooling rate measured in situ during AM Bench 2022 build


    With a three-year cycle time, AM Bench holds a conference associated with the benchmark measurements and challenge problems. This conference provides a venue where modelers and experimentalists can come together to discuss what works, what doesn’t work, and how we can fix what doesn’t work. The first AM Bench conference, AM Bench 2018, was hosted by NIST at their Gaithersburg, MD campus during the week of June 18, 2018.  The second conference, AM Bench 2022, was held in Bethesda, MD during the week of August 15, 2022. The TMS handled the conference logistics for both conferences and the 2018 conference proceedings are published in the TMS archival publication, Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation (IMMI).  These proceedings include both the AM Bench measurement results and invited papers from the AM Bench modeling community. The 2022 conference proceedings will also be published in IMMI.


    NIST Organizing Committee Co-Chairs