Machine Operator Certification

About the Program

With Additive Manufacturing (AM) scaling from prototyping to production of critical components, the need to verify the competency of machine operators is increasing. In response to the market demand for a standard approach to qualify operators, ASTM International has developed a certification program that applies to personnel operating metal laser powder bed machines.

The operator certification program applies to:

  • Any contract that requires compliance to ISO/ASTM 52942 for qualified operators for the metal AM machines and associated equipment.
  • Any application standards that calls out operator qualification (OQ) as a requirement.
  • Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to quality by ensuring qualified metal AM operators.

Contact AM CoE About this Certificate


Participating Machine OEMs :

—  Machine models: EOS M290, EOS M400, and EOS M400-4

Contact EOS About this Certificate

—  Machine models: DMP Flex 350

Contact 3D Systems About this Certificate

—  Machine models: SLM 280, SLM 500 and SLM NXG XII 600

Contact Nikon SLM Solutions About this Certificate

Scope of Certification

This certification program is in compliance with:

  • ISO/ASTM 52942: 2020 Additive manufacturing — Qualification principles —Qualifying machine operators of laser metal powder bed fusion machines and equipment
    used in aerospace applications.

The operator certification is for a specific machine model (manufacturer and specific machine type) and a powder material group.

For example:

  • Manufacturer – EOS; Model – EOS M290

  • Powder Material group – Austenitic, martensitic, and precipitation hardening
    steels (Material group B as per the standard)

How the Program Works

Location for assessment:
OEM Application Centers or Customer Site


  • $2500 per person at OEM Application Centers
  • $3000 per person at Customer Site (min. 3 operators)

Certification programs for other machine manufacturer models are available soon. Stay tuned.

Program pre-requisites:

  • Candidate for certification should have an experience operating machine. S/he should have completed at least six builds prior to applying for certification.
  • Certification is valid for two years. In order to maintain certification for two years machine operator will need to operate machine on a regular basis (at least once per six months).
  • Candidate for certification would need to provide evidence of visual acuity from a medical practitioner. It should be available for optional audit, ASTM will not take possession of results.
  • Near vision acuity (need to be tested every two years)
  • Color perception (need to be tested every six years)

Operator Certification Assessment

Operator qualification is assessed through a two-part examination covering the key topics in the standard

Theoretical Exam
  • Online exam conducted by ASTM

  • Minimum 80% score

Practical Exam
  • On-machine demonstration of proper setup and operation of PBF-LB machine according to Additive Manufacturing Procedure (AMP) specification

Evidence of Visual Acuity
  • Provide evidence of an eyesight and color perception test by a licensed practitioner

AM CoE by the Numbers

With decades of experience in additive manufacturing, our team of experts is integral to our work. With team members located throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, the AM CoE is able to provide agile support for global initiatives.


combined in-kind, government agency, and ASTM investment
projects initiated that will address AM standardization gaps

How can I participate?

  • Support through Research and Development

    Through the AM CoE, research priorities are identified by the top minds in the field and are matched from the start to the standards that need to be generated to ensure the resulting AM technology’s success.

  • Consortium for Materials Data and Standardization

    Consortia for Materials Data & Standardization (CMDS) enables companies of all sizes from across the entire additive manufacturing ecosystem to collaborate on standardizing the best practices for materials data generation.

  • Explore On-Demand Webinars

    The webinar series provides guidance sessions on multiple and diverse topics in AM Design, Fabrication, Post-processing, Mechanical testing, Non-destructive evaluation, Applications, and Qualification and Certification.

  • Education & Workforce Development

    Comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances to respond to industry needs and leverage standardization, certification, and AM CoE partner expertise.