The new additive manufacturing processes enable complex geometries to be produced without casting moulds and other tools. Thus in 3D printing a component can be built up layer-by-layer from a starting material like plastic, ceramic or metal. Many previous limitations on construction no longer apply and components with practically any complex geometry can be produced with micrometer precision. Potential areas of application for this technology range from industry to medicine through to food production. The expectations regarding the further development of “3D printing” are correspondingly high.
The goal of the working group is an interdisciplinary analysis and predictive assessment of the possibilities and eventual risks of this new manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing has the potential to change production methods and distribution channels in the manufacturing industry. Drafting a statement on “Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing” should serve to substantiate expectations, channel the discussions and identify available courses of action for policy makers.
The statement complements another academy statement on additive production that focuses on economic and technological questions regarding the whole network of value creation.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
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