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Materialise Brings “Making a Difference / A Difference in Making” Exhibition to the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

An exhibition that explores the added value of 3D Printing in art, design, engineering and science appears in Germany for the first time

ESSEN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 27, 2016--

Materialise NV (Nasdaq:MTLS), the leading provider of Additive Manufacturing software and sophisticated 3D printing solutions in the medical and industrial markets, is proud to announce that from today until October 30, visitors of the Red Dot Design Museum Essen are invited to discover pluralistic aspects of 3D Printing. The exhibition “Making a Difference / A Difference in Making” brings together more than 80 groundbreaking 3D-printed works of art, design, engineering and science.

Curated by Marta Malé-Alemany, and produced by Materialise, the exhibition invites visitors on a learning journey about a manufacturing technology that allows us to make things differently, and also to ponder how it can help individuals, enable social changes and positively contribute to the environment. In other words, how 3D Printing is making a difference.

“The Red Dot Design Museum displays the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design and is a reference for industrial designers. Therefore it is the perfect place to host an exhibition that explores the technical and creative potential of 3D printing technology. We want to show visitors the pieces created by designers and technical experts that have challenged the use of materials and boundaries in 3D Printing and how often these challenging ideas have been transferred to successful industrial applications”, says Marcus Joppe, Managing Director of Materialise Germany.

Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, explains: “3D Printing opens up new chances and possibilities to design products. More and more laypeople are discovering this too, and are producing objects at home in their own mini factory. But in order to fully exploit the potential of Additive Manufacturing for the mass market, it needs professional designers who possess the necessary expert knowledge. I am glad that Materialise is showing, in this exciting exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, how 3D Printing is successfully being applied, and is thereby informing a broad audience about the influence of this technique on people, the society and environment.”

This traveling exhibition was first presented in 2015 at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels during the 25th anniversary of Materialise. Curator Marta Malé-Alemany, architect and recognized researcher in the field of digital fabrication technologies, has selected works from renowned artists, designers, public initiatives and prestigious research institutions as well as those of unknown innovative makers. The exhibition “Making a Difference / A Difference in Making” was acclaimed by both specialists and the general public in Brussels.

About the exhibition

The exhibition is presented in two main sections. The first section, “A Difference in Making”, features a series of impressive and fascinating design creations that explore material opportunities enabled by the invention and development of 3D printing technology. It presents works from important designers such as Patrick Jouin, Iris van Herpen, Jan Wertel, Gernot Oberfell and Daniel Widrig among others.

“Making a Difference”, the second section, addresses three different curatorial domains: “Environment”, “Individual” and “Society”. Each category presents 3D-printed objects that range from medical implants, prosthetic devices, automotive and aerospace parts, furniture pieces, household appliances and more, with the aim of making visitors aware of how this technology already surrounds lives all around the world.

The “Environment” category presents projects that use 3D Printing with the specific concern of saving material and energy resources, as well as designs that question how 3D printing technology itself can be more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

The “Individual” category illustrates how 3D Printing enables the production of customized objects and parts, based on personal data. The projects presented here relate to the personal stories of people who have been touched by the technology, as it provides an individual solution to a unique case.

The category “Society” of “Making a Difference” displays different ways in which 3D Printing can shape our society. Here too, the selected projects give a multi-faceted perspective on the added value of this technology, while provoking inevitable questions. The exhibits address various subjects such as: the use of 3D Printing for the conservation of our past and future heritage, its role in revitalizing lost crafts, its implications as a critical instrument of emancipation and social empowerment, its potential for improving education, and others.

Further information on the exhibition
Online Catalogue
Download high-resolution images

About the Curator

Marta Malé-Alemany is a doctor in architecture, researcher and curator specialized in the relationship and integration between design and advanced fabrication technologies. She has curated several 3D printing exhibitions and programmed specific cultural agendas for museums, in the domain of innovative design production and digital craftsmanship.

Marta’s own work, in both academic and professional domains, follows a research-driven integrated methodology between design and manufacturing. Her work focuses on how to innovate industrial design and construction, by developing novel material solutions and building methods. These innovations engage research and experimentation on materials, the creative development of both DIY custom software and fabrication devices, as well as the use of advanced manufacturing processes present in the industry.

In practice, she has used this approach to realize various award-winning interior designs, large-scale installations and diverse architectural applications. In academics, she accumulates over 17 years of experience, teaching in renowned universities and schools in the U.S. and Europe, where she founded and directed several master and postgraduate educational programs. Currently she is the Head Lecturer in Digital Production at the Faculty of Technology of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and is appointed to review the architectural master programs of several European institutions.

About Materialise

Materialise incorporates more than 25 years of 3D printing experience into a range of software solutions and 3D printing services, which together form the backbone of 3D printing technologies. Materialise’s open and flexible solutions enable players in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods, to build innovative 3D printing applications that aim to make the world a better and healthier place. Headquartered in Belgium, with branches worldwide, Materialise combines the largest group of software developers in the industry with one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the world. For additional information, please visit:

About the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

Making the public experience good design and the quality of everyday items is the purpose of the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany. With about 2,000 exhibits from 45 nations, it displays the complete range of current product design in the former boiler house of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein coal mine. On five floors and approximately 4,000 square meters, it presents well-designed objects which were awarded by renowned experts in one of the largest international design competitions, the Red Dot Design Award. Every year, the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design informs around 150,000 visitors about current trends – testing many of the exhibits is explicitly allowed. Special exhibitions on certain topics complete the inspiring insight into the fascinating world of design. Further information:


Source: Materialise

Press contacts
Vanessa Palsenbarg, T: +32 16 39 66 37
F: +32 16 39 66 00
Corporate Communications Manager
E-mail :
Twitter: @MaterialiseNV
Red Dot Design Museum Essen
Marie-Christine Sassenberg, T: +49 201 30104 43
F: +49 201 30104 40
Senior Communications Manager
Twitter: @reddot