In the DED process, shielding gas is fed into the processing zone via the processing head, eliminating the need for a chamber-based setup, which is typical for powder bed 3D printing. On the one hand, significantly larger components and volumes can be processed, and on the other hand, process times for flooding of a build-chamber are eliminated. As the filler material is not pre-placed in a large volume and then melted, but is instead placed by means of a processing head where it is actually needed, it is possible to work effectively with a very small amount of a powder material and to process different materials next to each other, even building up material gradients!