3D Matter Made to Order

Cluster of Excellence of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) & Heidelberg University

3D Matter Made to Order

3D Additive Manufacturing Driven Towards the Molecular Scale

The Cluster of Excellence is a collaboration of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University (Uni HD). It pursues an interdisciplinary approach through conjunction of natural, engineering, and social sciences. 3DMM2O establishes scalable digital 3D Additive Manufacturing transcending from the molecular to the macroscopic scale.

This approach converts digital information into functional materials, devices and systems “made to order.” 3DMM2O creates a powerful technology push and pull by treating molecular materials, technologies and applications as indissolubly intertwined.

On the technology side, the scientific challenges are “finer, faster, and more”, i.e., advance molecular materials and technologies in terms of resolution, speed, and multi-material printing by orders of magnitude.

On the application side, we aim at functional 3D hybrid optical and electronic systems, 3D artificial materials called metamaterials, and at reconstructing functioning organotypic systems by using 3D scaffolds for cell culture.

Cluster Spokespersons

Martin Wegener

Prof. Dr. Martin Wegener
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
E-Mail: martin wegener∂kit edu

Uwe Bunz

Prof. Dr. Uwe Bunz
Heidelberg University
E-Mail: uwe bunz∂oci uni-heidelberg de


The hydrogel (yellow) swells and pushes the micro-scaffold (grey) apart – together with the cell-attracting bar (orange). This deforms the cell (green). (Graphics: Marc Hippler, KIT)Hippler et al. (2020)
Microstructures for Cell Stress Testing

Researchers of the Cluster 3DMM2O developed a new method to analyze the impact of external forces on singular cells by creating microstuctures using 3D printing to stretch the cells. The scientists were able to observe how different cells counteract or give in to the pressure.

The paper describing the method was published in the journal Science Advances.

Read the Press Release
Color change: The right micro-cylinder printed with the novel photoresist appears white because light is scattered in its sponge-like structure, while the cylinder printed with conventional photoresist appears transparent.Mayer et al. 2020
New photoresist enables 3D printing of nanoporous structures

In a paper recently published in the journal Advanced Materials, Cluster researchers describe a newly developed photoresist for 3D laser microprinting that can be used for manufacturing nanoporous polymer microstructures. By tuning the writing parameters, the porosity of the printed material can be controlled.

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Logo Nature CommunicationsNature Communications / Springer Nature
Nature Communications features publications

Nature Communications recently curated a themed collection showcasing interdisciplinary papers on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing published in the journal over the past years. The collection includes two papers by Cluster PIs: "Adding chemically selective subtraction to multi-material 3D additive manufacturing" and "Controlling the shape of 3D microstructures by temperature and light". We congratulate!

See the collection
Conference 3DMM2O
Registration Open: Cluster Conference

Future 3D Additive Manufacturing - The 3DMM2O Conference on 3D Hybrid Organotypic Systems will take place February 28 - March 4, 2021. Registration now open!

Register here
Diagram describing the process in the paperHouck et al. 2020
New paper in Advanced Materials

A new Cluster paper, published in the journal Advanced Materials, details water erasable microstructures produced by 3D laser printing. The paper features three Principal Investigators of the Cluster as co-authors: Martin Wegener, Christopher Barner-Kowollik and Eva Blasco.

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Student putting his hand upAdobe Stock / Gorodenkoff
Apply Now: MSc in Materials Science & Engineering

From winter semester 2020/21 on, the MSc program Materials Science and Engineering at KIT can be studied in English as well as German. The new English language track is supported by the Cluster. Applications are open until September 30.

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