Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Additive Manufacturing Metrology Testbed (AMMT)

Credit: TEMP

The NIST Additive Manufacturing Metrology Testbed is a fully custom, open-platform laser powder bed fusion (LBPF) system to advance monitoring, controls, and metrology research.  In addition to research specific to AM, the system employs a suite radiometric calibration and measurement instruments that enable the Temperature and Emittance of Melts, Powders, and Solids (TEMPS).  The AMMT/TEMPS is a collaborative development between NIST Engineering Laboratory (EL) and Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) with shared metrology goals of traceable, multi-spectral radiometric measurements of laser-heated materials. 


Credit: TEMP


NIST's 3D Printer Testbed
NIST's 3D Printer Testbed
This 3D printer builds objects by melting a fine metal powder with a laser. First, the surface is coated with metal powder. Then, a  high-power laser melts that powder in a particular pattern. The process is repeated hundreds or thousands of times, building the metal piece layer by layer. Finally, when the object is complete, the excess powder is removed. NIST researchers are studying this kind of 3D printing to give industry users tools for more control over their own 3D printing processes. Credit: Jennifer Lauren Lee/NIST


  • Fully custom laser scanner control
  • Calibrated radiance temperature, emittance, and true melt pool temperature
  • Process monitored 3D metal AM builds
  • High speed melt pool imaging and associated measurements
  • Laser absorption and melt pool energy balance

Scientific Opportunities/Applications

NIST is open to collaborations on projects that can make use of the special capabilities of the AMMT.  Unofficial collaborations are preferred, with topics that fall under the research goals of the AMMT and the Measurement Science for Additive Manufacturing Program, and any results can be made public and co-published by NIST.  Official collaborations can be conducted through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

Want to work with the AMMT? Various opportunities exist for guest researchers, post-doctoral researcher associates, or for Ph.D. students through the NIST Pathways internship program.  

Created June 28, 2024, Updated July 12, 2024