3D Matter Made to Order

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

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

Prof. Dr. Martin Wegener
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Prof. Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel
Heidelberg University


July 4, 2024

Kerstin Göpfrich receives the Alfried Krupp Award 2024!

Cluster Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Kerstin Göpfrich receives the Alfried Krupp Prize 2024, one of the most prestigious scientific awards in Germany. The prize, which is endowed with 1 million euros, gives the winners freedom in research and teaching for a period of five years. Kerstin Göprich is a professor at the Center for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg. She also heads a research group in the field of biophysical engineering at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Her research focuses on the construction of artificial cells from customized components. With her groundbreaking work, she aims to create an artificial model cell that will open up new ways of describing and harnessing the processes of life. Congratulations!

July 1, 2024

Breakthrough in 3D imaging!

Cluster Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Uli Lemmer was part of a research team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology that developed a portable multispectral 3D camera using inkjet printing. This palm-sized camera captures both 3D spatial and spectral information in a single snapshot, which traditionally requires multiple devices or time-consuming scanning processes. By integrating AI, the palm-sized camera can accurately distinguish objects and materials based on their spectral characteristics. This innovation opens the door to a wide range of applications, from autonomous driving and consumer electronics such as smartphones to medical devices such as endoscopes.

June 21, 2024

Eyesight from the 3D printer

Printing a new cornea during surgery to restore vision: This groundbreaking step in the fight against corneal diseases will be made possible in the future by a laser-based procedure using customized bio-ink. It was developed by researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) led by Cluster Principal Investigator Ute Schepers with the participation of Principal Investigator Stefan Bräse together with the companies Carl Zeiss Meditec AG and Evonik Healthcare. The project was awarded a prize in this year’s NEULAND innovation competition.

May 29, 2024

A novel method for multimaterial 3D laser printing

A new cluster publication with first author Niklas Schwegler has been published in Small. Postdoctoral Researchers Maria Villiou, Federico Colombo, Barbara Schamberger and Principal Investigators Christine Selhuber-Unkel, Franziska Thomas and Eva Blasco are also involved. The scientists developed a direct method to fabricate 3D microstructured cell-adhesive and cell-repellent multimaterials using two-photon laser printing. This method offers better molecular control, high customizability, and fast and precise 3D fabrication, suitable for a variety of applications, such as cellular studies in complex environments.

May 23, 2024

Summer School 2024

Register now for our summer program July 29 – August 2, 2024 and spend a week learning about 3D printing! Our Cluster is organizing a summer program for young women aged 13-19 once again. Participants will learn about the entire 3D printing process: From the creation of a CAD model to the printed part. By the end of the week, they will be able to produce their own small projects such as cell phone cases, key chains, name badges, holders and more. The summer program is held in German at the ZEISS Group Innovation Hubs on the KIT Campus North in Karlsruhe.

April 19, 2024

Recap Cluster Conference 2024

Our annual 3DMM2O Conference took place at Schöntal Monastery in April. A very exciting program was put together: In addition to the PIs and Doctoral Researchers, an excellent selection of invited speakers gave presentations. During the five-day conference, there were also plenty of networking opportunities and exchange during the poster sessions or the social program. Get some impressions of this year’s conference!