The new additive manufacturing processes enable complex geometries to be produced without casting molds and other tools. Thus, with 3D printing, a component can be built up layer-by-layer from materials 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 to food production. The expectations regarding 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 potential risks of this new manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing bears the potential to change production methods and distribution channels in the manufacturing industry. Drafting a statement on additive manufacturing and 3D printing shall serve to substantiate expectations, channel the discussions and identify available courses of action for policymakers.
This statement complements another academy statement focused on economic and technological questions of additive production within the entire value-adding network.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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