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
martin wegener∂kit edu


Prof. Dr. Jochen Wittbrodt
Heidelberg University
jochen wittbrodt∂cos uni-heidelberg de

Miniaturized Diffusers Manipulating LightDennis Arslan (University of Jena)
Miniaturization of Diffusers for New Applications


A team of Cluster scientists and researchers of Friedrich Schiller University of Jena succeeded in developing a diffuser, a disk that scatters light, based on silicon nanoparticles. It can be used to specifically control the direction, color, and polarization of light. This novel technology may be used in transparent screens or augmented reality. The results are reported in Advanced Materials.

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Properties of PEGgelWang et al. 2021
3D printable, tough and self-healing PEGgel


A team including Cluster researchers from the working groups of Principal Investigators Pavel Levkin and Wolfgang Wenzel present a 3D printable polymer gel system (PEGgel) with properties such as high stretchability and toughness, rapid self-healing, and long-term stability under ambient conditions. Soft materials like the reported PEGgel hold promises for broad applications in wearable electronics, soft actuators and robotics. The results are reported in Advanced Materials.

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Measured and calculated roton dispersions.Martínez et al. 2021
Directly observed roton-like dispersion relations in metamaterials


A team including Cluster researchers from the working group of Principal Investigator Martin Wegener report the direct experimental observation of roton-like dispersion relations in two different 3D metamaterials under ambient conditions. The results open experimental opportunities to tailor the lowest dispersion branch of 3D metamaterials. Their work builts upon a theoretical framework detailed in June of this year

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Thumbnail ELI5 video with Tobias AbeleCluster 3DMM2O / Agentur Triebfeder
Explain Like I'm Five: New Video


In a new ELI5 ("Explain Like I'm 5") video on the Cluster YouTube channel, Cluster Young Scientist Tobias Abele (working group of Principal Investigator Kerstin Göpfrich) explains his research in the field of synthetic biology. The video details a new approach using 3D laser printing directly within a synthetic cell that was published recently in Advanced Materials

Watch it Here (German)
Electron microscope reconstruction of a 3-D nanostructure printed using the two-step method (left) and light microscope image (right).Rasmus Schröder (Uni HD) / Vincent Hahn (KIT)
3D Laser Nanoprinters Become Compact


Currently, 3D Laser Printers require big and expensive laser systems. Cluster researchers from KIT and Uni HD now present an approach to use two-step absorption with inexpensive and small, blue laser diodes instead of two-photon absorption to realize smaller, more compact printers. This could pave the way to make 3D laser printing accessible for a wider audience. The paper was published in the journal Nature Photonics.

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Cluster Conference 2022Cluster 3DMM2O
Register Now for the Cluster Conference 2022!


Registrations for Future 3D Additive Manufacturing - The 3DMM2O Conference 2022: 3D Nano- and Micro-Manufacturing: Technology and Technical Applications are now open! The conference will take place from April 3-8, 2022 in the baroque monastery of Schöntal, Germany (near Heilbronn).

Find Out More & Register