Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are synonymous with rapid prototyping and production in limited quantities of or more complex parts and design. Can 3D printing be an important component of a more circular economy? Will it replace traditional high throughput manufacturing? What are the materials challenges for the Six-R concept? Polymers and metals are the materials of primary interest for materials sustainability. An important aspect of 3D printing is distributed production and digital manufacturing that can cross traditional blockchain supply models and distribution. This talk will outline and review important developments and the value chain of 3D printing towards the following: 1) Challenges of adopting the right 3D printing methods and the intricate relationship with the starting material and desired part properties, 2) Savings in time, cost and reduction of waste materials in 3D printing by materials design, 3) Unique applications of 3D printing and replacement of traditional manufacturing modes towards high performance and limited production, and lastly 4) Bio-inspired and design paradigms towards high strength and lightweight materials from aerospace to biomaterials. The talks will also highlight our work employing fused deposition modeling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), and stereolithographic apparatus (SLA) or photopolymerized fabrication of nanocomposite materials. Lastly, the importance of designing polymer materials for the six-R can be emphasized in the early stages of new materials and process development.