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


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!

April 17, 2024

A first in artificial cell division!

Cluster Alumnus Kevin Jahnke is second author and Cluster PI Prof. Dr. Kerstin Göpfrich is co-author of a pioneering paper published in Nature Communications. The research team succeeded for the first time in developing a ring of DNA nanotubes that could be used for artificial cell division. The results have provided new insights into the formation of DNA nanotube rings and the architecture of their contraction mechanism. Findings based on DNA-based contractile rings could be used to create artificial machines for dividing or contracting muscle-like materials.

March 25, 2024

New setup increases speed of multi-photon 3D laser printing

A new Cluster publication by first author Dr. Pascal Kiefer addresses one of the key challenges of multi-photon 3D laser printing. The scientists have developed a new setup that allows printing speeds to increase 10-fold. The combination of the large array and fast scan speeds means that very large or small samples can be produced in large quantities at a high 3D printing rate. This opens up the possibility of new studies, for example in the field of respiratory drug delivery, where some sample requirements were previously unachievable.