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Experts regard 3D printing as a key technology that is set to revolutionize industrial production – in that all-important sector for German industry: the mechanical engineering sector, if nowhere else – over the next few years. Yet, additive manufacturing still has considerable scope for expansion. Greater efforts are therefore being made to put existing technologies into industrial practice. In January, the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden (IPF Dresden) announced its cooperation with partners from industry, with the focus on transferring findings from basic research to industrial processes.

Now the 3D-Druck-Netzwerk Hamburg (3D printing network) also wants to provide answers to practical and strategic issues relating to 3D printing in business and industry, giving participating experts and companies the opportunity to share experiences, cooperate in working groups, and attend trade events. Behind the creation of the network is the finding that around two thirds of companies in Hamburg face obstacles to using 3D printing technologies – in particular due to high purchasing costs, but also due to a lack of know-how in many companies.