Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing, Selective Laser Sintering and Fused Layer Modeling  

Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques make it possible to create components layer by layer directly from digital data. Originally used only for rapid prototyping, they are now processes for producing individualized products and functional, complex, high-performance components.

At Fraunhofer UMSICHT, plastic-based processes such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused layer modeling (FLM) have been research and development topics since 2010. Due to the interdisciplinarity of the employees at the institute, we work on both material science issues (e.g. customized compounds) and issues regarding plant and process optimization. At the same time, we research new application areas and implementation strategies of 3D printing for the market.

Functionalization of biodegradable plastics

We develop customized thermoplastic materials for additive manufacturing for you. One of our focal points is the functionalization of biobased and/or biodegradable plastics. We cover the entire development chain from polymerization and compounding to sample production. For additive manufacturing, this means that we can produce both powders for the SLS process (cryogenic comminution) and filaments for the FLM process (extrusion) from material samples.

We adapt formulations to your requirements profile, keeping an eye on market opportunities and raw material availability. Environmental aspects are also important to us (Life Cycle Assessment/Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence CCCPE). That is why we also offer you the preparation and testing of recycled materials for AM.

In the field of selective laser sintering, we have self-developed, freely adjustable SLS systems that go beyond the state of the art of conventional SLS systems. They are optimized for efficient material development with very small sample quantities.. Here we can quickly and cost-effectively perform initial processing tests of new SLS materials for you.

Participation: Creative collaboration with users

We offer a creative approach to new technical issues: To this end, we conduct formats such as sprints and hackathons in our FabLab DEZENTRALE. This allows users and consumers to be comprehensively involved in the development process at an early stage, so that their ideas can be incorporated into the products in good time and products can be realized better and faster.

We combine additive manufacturing with other digital manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting, 3D scanning or waterjet cutting to turn your ideas into tangible prototypes with you. Through this implementation, you can better weigh how much further potential there is in your idea and thereby convince other stakeholders.

Use our experience with numerous additive manufacturing technologies and our market knowledge to determine the potential of additive manufacturing for your application. We provide you with manufacturer- and process-neutral advice.

Your way to cooperation with us

Do you have questions about the fascinating possibilities of digital manufacturing? Would you like to learn what this can mean for your company and your products? We support you from the idea to the implementation. We would be happy to develop research projects together with you, create a customized offer for you and/or look for funding opportunities.

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a member of the Fraunhofer Competence Field Additive Manufacturing. Through this cooperation with other Fraunhofer institutes we offer results from a single source even for for comprehensive and complex issues.


Just get in touch for us, we are looking forward to your e-mail!

© Fraunhofer UMSICHT
We support you from developing ideas, advicing in processes and materials, over developing custom-fit materials up to their implementation.

Reference projects on Additve manufacturing



Citizen lab for energy innovations

In an open workshop, scientists work together with citizens to research what energy generation and energy saving could look like in the future. The aim of the project is to actively involve citizens in the energy technology process in order to develop solutions at the local level.




Mushroom based sound insulation

The aim of the project is to develop a bio-based sound absorber via generative manufacturing using the double porosity method . The product is manufactured on the basis of fungal mycelium, which is nourished from plant residues  - for example from straw.



Plastics for textile applications

In the project new plastic compounds with material properties are developed that meet the requirements of the 3D printing process as well as (those of) the applications, e.g. in protective and functional clothing.



Laboratory for urban future questions and innovations

In the Laboratory for Urban Future Issues and Innovations, LUZI for short, a transdisciplinary empirical investigation is conducted in a creative environment into how and through which target groups a maker space can sustabainbly function.


Bionic Manufacturing

Production of biomimetic components

New manufacturing technique for biomimetic components and the development of a prototype of a cantilever chair using selective laser sintering SLS.



Medical aids in the 3D printer

Individually adapted medical aids for rheumatism patients. Designed by sufferers, manufactured decentrally using state-of-the-art digital production processes.



Insoles for diabetes

Complete digitalization of the production of insoles for diabetes patients - from measuring the foot to producing the insoles and subsequently evaluating the orthopedic product.