Expert Committee
Additive Manufacturing

The DGM Expert Committee deals with all issues along the process chain: from raw material preparation to the evaluation, characterization, and qualification of materials and their properties to the post-treatment of the component. Members are therefore scientists as well as raw material and equipment manufacturers, producers, and users from industry, whereby the complete range of materials (plastics, metals, ceramics, glasses, etc.) plays a role.

Thinking in layers

The Expert Committee is in constant exchange with thematically related committees of the VDI and the DVS, as well as with the groups involved in standardization work and the Fraunhofer Alliance for Generative Manufacturing. In addition to preparing its own conferences, the committee also supports other conferences, such as the "International Symposium Materials Science and Technology of Additive Manufacturing".

The layer-by-layer construction of components based on digital 3D data enables almost any geometric shape. The advantages are obvious. On the one hand, additive manufacturing can save a lot of material (and thus weight), while on the other hand it delivers completely new design possibilities for designers and materials engineers. Additive manufacturing has become increasingly important in recent years, for example in the aerospace industry or in energy and medical technology.

If additive manufacturing succeeds in producing spare parts of a quality produced using today's standard processes, this has far-reaching consequences for warehousing, transport and customer service. Germany is already very well positioned in this area. Nevertheless, there are still numerous problems to be mastered in the future.

The right material in the right place

To meet the high expectations of additive processes, the provision and selection of suitable materials with a desired range of properties is a decisive key to technical breakthroughs. A better scientific and technical understanding of material and material behavior and its optimization throughout the entire process chain is indispensable in order to "put the right material in the right place". There is an urgent need for research, especially in the field of "multi-material design". The effective transfer of knowledge into industrial practice must be focused on in the coming years. To include the entire process chain, aspects of materials science and materials technology, chemistry, plant construction and engineering must be taken into account.

In order to maintain and expand Germany's good international position, increased research efforts will be important in the future, including for in-process quality assurance, material efficiency and functionally adapted material use, as well as for the material-appropriate design and layout of new, additively manufactured structures (lattice structures, multi-material structures, etc.). This requires coordinated R&D programs in which both the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) should be involved.


Additive manufacturing processes have become increasingly important in recent years. While in the early days of the technology the focus was on the production of prototypes and models, additive processes have already found their way into series production today. In contrast to conventional manufacturing processes, in additive manufacturing the component is created directly based of CAD data by building it up layer by layer. The processes include stereolithography, selective laser melting, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modelling (FDM), laminated object modelling and 3D printing. Laser-based processes of metallic components have found the most widespread use in series production, for example in the dental industry. FDM is popular and inexpensive in the field of plastics for manufacturing individual parts - from toys to design models.

Additive manufacturing can be used economically for the parallel production of very small components in large quantities or the individual production of parts with a high degree of geometric complexity. Here, the economic efficiency increases with the complexity of the component geometry. New developments also allow the simultaneous use of different materials and the integration of functions.

Due to the technical possibilities, but above all due to the verification of the enormous potential in more and more areas, the so-called Rapid Manufacturing or Direct Manufacturing has established itself. Increasingly, areas of application are being developed that go beyond model making and prototyping into direct manufacturing with additive processes. New machines and concepts are being developed for this purpose: The prototyper is transforming into a fabricator. This development towards batch size-independent production of customer-specific series with the character of individual parts (customization, customized mass production) will revolutionize the entire manufacturing technology.

With this background in mind, the Expert Committee "Additive Manufacturing" was founded within the DGM. The Expert Committee is to work on the following topics, among others:

  • data preparation
  • materials
  • processes
  • quality assurance

In addition, the EC is in contact with ISO/TC 261 "Additive Manufacturing", FA 105 "Additive Manufacturing" of the VDI and FA 13 "Generative Manufacturing - Rapid Technologies" of the DSV. Contact with the Fraunhofer Generative Manufacturing Alliance will also be used to strengthen the committee.

A central task of the EC should be to discuss cross-process and cross-material topics in order to make better use of synergy effects than before.

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