The Future of Additive Manufacturing

Event | 5.27.2021

© Fraunhofer IAPT

What potential does additive manufacturing hold - both today and in the future?

At the digital conference "Design for AM: What is the future of products?" on May 27, 2021, experts from various industries will address this question. The international event, organized by Fraunhofer IAPT, is intended to stimulate exchange and reveal current innovation trends as well as the future of additive manufacturing in the fields of work and design. The FutureWork360 project of the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA will also be represented during the "Future of Work Panel Discussion" from 12:30 - 13:30. It will focus on the following topics:

  • "FutureWork360" - Using the digital twins for knowledge transfer (Yeama Bangali, Fraunhofer IAO)
  • Future Work Lab - Production work of the future (Simon Schumacher, Fraunhofer IPA)
  • Product creation in additive manufacturing (Nikolas Zimmermann, Fraunhofer IAO)

About the event and registration

A successful project year 2020

News | 12.22.2020

© Fraunhofer IAO

2020 has been an incredibly turbulent year for everyone. For various scientific disciplines, it has also been a very challenging but also inspiring year in many respects. Apart from the obvious medical challenges, work research was also put to the test: How can work structures be modernized and efficiently and appealingly moved out of crisis mode and into the 21st century? It's a question FutureWork360 has been tackling since mid-2019, and one that has been further inspired by the year that is now almost over. We would now like to briefly look back at some project milestones and also take the opportunity to thank some important players.

In March of this year, we successfully launched the virtual lab tour, which now enables interested parties worldwide to experience Industry 4.0 in our Future Work Lab - completely independent of location and time. Through two successful web sessions in the summer, we were able to explain the benefits of the project to participants and at the same time get their feedback on aspects we need to improve or embark on. This also allowed us to expand the lab tour and next year we will be able to present more exhibits on the future of work to you virtually. 

In addition, we were given a platform at various events to present our project and our findings to a broad audience. For example, in our own session and a live Q&A at the first virtual edition of the re:publica or at web sessions at the Digital Festival and the Industry Days. In December, we ended the year with a keynote speech at visitBerlin, where we presented our approach to the crisis to the event industry.

We look back on an exciting and successful year full of opportunities. Our special thanks go to all participants of our web sessions, the people interested in our project and our lab tour, those who offered us their platform as well as the scientists who presented their exhibits in elaborate short videos. Special thanks also go to the company Hemminger Ingenieurbüro GmbH und Co. KG, which provided the technological basis and created the digital twins of the laboratory environments with its 360° laser scanner. In addition, the implementation would not have been possible without the Munich-based startup Baro Pfannenstein GmbH, which programmed the interface of the virtual lab tour, incorporated the content and designed an editorial front end.

We always focus on the future and therefore we cannot help but face the next year with confidence. We look forward to seeing old and new faces and wish all interested parties, project partners and participants of all kinds good health, happy holidays and a happy new year.

Meet the change

Event | 8.27.2020

© Meet Germany | Event Destinations GmbH

The Corona crisis is creating stumbling blocks in many industries. The cultural and creative industries are also undergoing change and need to rethink. That's why it's all about making the best of it, exchanging ideas, learning from each other and other industries.  This is precisely the aim of the "Meet the Change" event on 27.08.2020, at which Yeama Bangali, project manager of FutureWork360, will be a virtual speaker. In an interactive round table discussion with representatives of Vattenfall or the Hasso-Plattner-Institute, among others, lighthouse projects in the crisis, from different industries, will be discussed and impulses given.

About the event and registration (

From Mass Personalization to AI - A review of our web sessions

News | 8.4.2020

© Fotolia - zapp2photo

Our two successful websessions were the highlights of July for us and we would like to thank all participants for their attendance and interest, and our speakers for their input and commitment! The topics "Mass personalization and ultra-efficiency" and "Production IT, Data Science and AI" were very well received and with all the feedback we want to further optimize future websessions.

Speaking of which: Are there certain topics concerning the production work of the future that are on your mind and you think they should be examined more closely in a web session? There is still so much more to explore in this field and we would be happy to receive your suggestions – so please let us know and send us an email: See you soon!

Web sessions in july

News | 7.6.2020

The first successful FutureWork360 web session took place at the beginning of the year - now two new ones are to follow. As part of the project, we are offering webinars on July 22 and 29, 2020 on the topics "Mass personalization and ultra-efficiency" and "Production IT, Data Science and AI". Our goal is to provide research-based examples of innovative solutions, to show how they can be implemented and to support you in the introduction of AI. We will show you the possibilities of a more efficient and technologically advanced production and would like to share our knowledge with you as well as discuss it with you and especially consider your questions. This time you can send us your questions in advance so that we can tailor the program to your needs.

About the web sessions

Get to know the Future Work Lab at the Digitalfestival

Event | May 25.-29. 2020

How can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Baden-Württemberg remain competitive even during a pandemic or similar crisis?

The transfer initiatives Business Innovation Engineering Center (BIEC) and Popup Labor BW of the Fraunhofer IAO have solutions and methods at their disposal:

The Digitalfestival will take place from 25th to 29th May 2020 and is an online event format to which SMEs from Baden-Württemberg are cordially invited.

It will be possible to get to know the exhibits of the FutureWork360 project better. In a virtual tour, the IAO scientist Sven Schuler will present the Future Work Lab on 25 May at 12 pm.

In addition, it will be possible, among other things, to participate in a webinar on the subject of data protection in video conferences or to have a virtual exchange with experts on the introduction of artificial intelligence.

About the event (de)

About the Future Work Lab 

re:think work - The Fraunhofer IAO at the re:publica

Press release | 5.19.2020

The renowned digital conference "re:publica", which attracts thousands of visitors every year, took place again in 2020 - but for the first time as an online conference due to the current situation. On the platform on 7 May, various session hosts presented examples of solutions for maintaining production work even times of crisis. Under the title "re:think work - The Digitalization of Production", the Fraunhofer IAO and IPA‘s "FutureWork360" project also showed how helpful a lab twin can be. The communication expert in the project, Yeama Bangali, hosted the session and presented the project - together with Prof. Oliver Rieder, Institute Director of the IAO, and Dr. Stephan Wilhelm, expert for virtual environments at the IAO. Among other things, they discussed how a digital twin is created, why it is useful and why manufacturing companies should completely digitalize their processes in order to be prepared for the future. Afterwards, interested parties had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with the three speakers.

To the press release

Recording of the Session (ab 6:34:18)

Recording of the Deep Dive (ab 5:39:36)

FutureWork360: How virtual can research become

Press release | 5.13.2020

The world of work is in a constant state of change due to digital restructuring - the susceptibility to errors is particularly evident in the current corona crisis. How can the networking of research work and of projects succeed if personal exchange is not possible?

The FutureWork360 project of the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA uses a digital twin to show which potentials exist and how an exchange of ideas in the field of research and innovation can be achieved - regardless of time and place. In a virtual laboratory tour, interested parties are shown various solutions and methods in a playful way, showing them what the working world of the future could look like. Finally, real-time websessions allow for an exchange with experts on this topic - technological and scientific questions as well as possible cooperations can be discussed.

To the press release

To the virtual lab tour

Launch of the virtual lab tour

News | 5.13.2020

© Kai Effinger, © Fraunhofer IAO

How do you deal with crises such as the current corona pandemic in a modern, digitalized working world? Manufacturing companies around the world are currently facing major challenges, and it is becoming clear once again how much potential could still be exploited in the area of digitization.

The FutureWork360 project of the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA has recently begun to show this potential to interested parties in a virtual laboratory tour. The focus here is on sensitizing the target groups to solutions, methods and examples of innovation. Virtual reality and innovative communication in real time are the main focus.

In cooperation with the Hemminger-Ingenieursgesellschaft GmbH, digital twins of different laboratory environments were created with the help of a 3D laser scanner: from the molecular workplace to the 7-axis printer. These can be explored via the online platform - and soon also in web sessions with experts - in greater depth.

To the virtual lab tour

AI made in Germany? What we can learn from Silicon Valley

Blog post | 11.13.2019

USA at the top, China close at hand and when will Germany come? In the race for AI developments, there is still room for improvement for Germany. Our one-week trip to Silicon Valley with the project "FutureWork360" gave us a lot of impetus for the big goal "AI made in Germany". We have summarized our impressions for you in our blog post.

Read full article

Transatlantic Sync. Germany & Silicon Valley: Shaping a shared digital future

News | 11.13.2019

October 27 - 29, 2019, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California

Develop visions for a common digital future and strengthen transatlantic partnerships: The “Transatlantic Sync” conference in Silicon Valley brought together scientists, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and journalists from Germany and the USA to examine the impact of digital technologies on business and society in both countries.  

The aim of the conference was to develop a common vision for a prosperous technology-oriented future, to establish a strong network for transatlantic cooperation, and to present innovations being developed in Germany and Silicon Valley.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA were represented at the Transatlantic Sync with the project “FutureWork360”: On October 29, 2019, Simon Schumacher, project manager of the Future Work Lab at Fraunhofer IPA, used the example of the Future Work Lab to show what production work of the future could look like and presented the goals and procedures of the “FutureWork360”  project.

To Transatlantic Sync.

To Future Work Lab

FutureWork360 at the K-Messe 2019

Report | 11.11.2019

The K trade fair, the world's largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, brings more than 3,000 national and international exhibitors to Düsseldorf every year; in addition to machinery and equipment, raw and auxiliary materials as well as reinforced plastic products are presented. Employees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO also attended this year's K trade fair and met with representatives of the French Plastipolis plastics cluster; in animated discussions they presented the “FutureWork360” project to them. The members of Plastipolis showed great interest in digital laboratories and confirmed their interest in smart plastics, recycling and networking in the production process.

FutureWork360 Online Survey - Experiencing the future of work

News | 11.8.2019

The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, new material technologies or robotics - the future of work brings a variety of new questions and challenges for companies in the plastics processing industry. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is therefore launching an online survey on October 21. In this survey, users will be able to identify future topics and challenges that interest them the most.

The results of the survey are evaluated anonymously and used to design the virtual research laboratories on the “FutureWork360” platform according to specific topics and needs. The aim of the platform is to bring innovations of the future working world to life and to open a lively dialogue with experts and scientists of the Fraunhofer Institutes.

As a thank you, two tickets for the international conference “FUTURAS IN RES” will be raffled off among all participants.

Participation in the survey is possible until 18 December 2019, the processing time is approximately 10 minutes.

To survey