3D printing technologies for medical applications

Our expertise: material development for 3D printing


At Fraunhofer IAP, we develop polymers for additive manufacturing processes. In recent years, our researchers have specialized in material development for light-based curing technologies. Thanks to our own printers, we are independent of subsequent production prints.


We develop materials for medical implants

We develop biocompatible materials for additive processes with elastic and biomimetic behavior. Prostheses and implants can be adapted to the injuries of patients with the latest technologies. In the case of soft tissue dislocations, for example, insulation capsules with an individual shape can be printed, in which blood-supplied tissue can grow back inside the body.

The materials and 3D printing technologies must meet very high medical requirements. At Fraunhofer IAP, researchers combine their comprehensive material knowledge with technical know-how to achieve the best solutions for the development of medical applications.

Because we care about the future: Sustainable chemistry

The Society of German Chemists describes sustainable Chmie as "the key discipline that will ensure the future viability of industrial society." In our development of medical implants, this means: We develop 3D printed medical implants based on sustainable inks. We formulate this 3D printing ink on the basis of sustainable chemistry. For example, we develop biodegradable implants and implants based on renewable materials. We avoid the use of toxic or critical raw materials.

3D printing for medical devices

Material development for additive printing processes

PolyKard | FlexLoop | Artivasc3D | BioRap

Biomimetic functionalization

Hybrid- and meta-materials for future implants

Our equipment for material testing and 3D printing

Research Project FlexLoop

Our research on 3D printed isolation chambers

  • so far, isolation chambers could only be printed in one shape: round
  • now it is possible to adjust the shape of the isolation chamber to the shape of the wound
  • In the FlexLoop project, the IAP researchers are testing the materials (photoresins) and the printed isolation chambers. Criteria are, for example, the behavior of the product in the human organism as well as the temperature resistance.

Dr. Wolfdietrich Meyer says:

»With individually adapted isolation chambers, we can further advance the personalization and individualization of medicine. The shape adaptation opens up new possibilities for tissue transplantation.«

How can medicine be personalized?

Biocompatible photoresins promise progress in individualized tissue transplantation


Artificial pericardial
tissue from the
3D printer

Press release | 4.2.2020

Biomimetic properties challenge researchers

The mimicing of biomimetic properties for medical technology applications is made possible by means of 3D printing in combination with the right materials. The stress curve below shows asymmetrical tensile behavior.

Material structured by 3D printing shows asymmetrical tensile behavior.

This creates metastructures with additional material functions.

Photoresins become photopolymers

During the 3D printing process, the used photoresins are transformed into photopolymers. Polymerization is triggered by the precise targeting of UV light. 

Photocurable Materials for 3D printing


Our equipment for material testing and 3D printing

DLP 3D printer

High-resolution DLP 3D printer - ideal for component development.


Spectrometric analysis of photoresins


Calorimetric analysis of photoresins