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Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing – Perspectives of a new Technology

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.


  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (responsible)
  • Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities
  • German Academy of Science and Technology acatech

Spokesperson of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing Dierk Raabe ML, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf & RWTH Aachen

Members of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reiner Anderl, Datenverarbeitung in der Konstruktion, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. -Ing. Eckhard Beyer, Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS, Dresden & TU Dresden
  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Dickel, Fachbereich Soziologie – Mediensoziologie der Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietmar Drummer, Lehrstuhl für Kunststofftechnik, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Ensthaler, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschafts-, Unternehmens- und Technikrecht, TU Berlin
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Fischer ML, Zahnärztliche Werkstoffkunde und Biomaterial-forschung (ZWBF), Universitäts-klinikum RWTH Aachen
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch ML, Fraunhofer- Institut für Werkstoff-mechanik IWM, Freiburg & Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
  • Prof. em. Dr.-Ing.habil. Dr.-Ing.E.h Dietrich Hartmann, Institut für Ingenieurinformatik im Bauwesen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, Vorderasiatisches Museum im Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Rafaela Hillerbrand, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Technikfolgen-abschätzung und Systemanalyse
  • Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty, Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerbs-recht, München & Universität Zürich & LMU München
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Munich Center for Technology in Society, TU München
  • Prof. Dr. Ernst W. Mayr, Lehrstuhl für Effiziente Algorithmen, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Peukert, Lehrstuhl für Feststoff- und Grenzflächen-verfahrenstechnik, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Prof. Dr. Frédéric Thiesse, Center for Digital Fabrication, Universität Würzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Brigitte Vollmar ML, Institut für Experimentelle Chirurgie, Universität Rostock
  • Guest:
    Prof. Dr. Sigmar Wittig ML, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

ML = Member of the Leopoldina



Dr. Elke Witt

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 873
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail elke.witt @leopoldina.org