Generative production processes are becoming more important in the production of small series, customized components and the manufacture of complex component structures. The transition from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing requires that produced parts be subjected to reliable and defined quality control. To do this, we experimentally and computationally define the internal stresses and shape distortions that arise from the layered structure of components in selective laser melting (SLM) processes or in stereolithography. Using finite elements methods and “computer aided optimization”, we also investigate the mechanical properties of complex structures which can be produced through generative processes. Load-oriented and function-optimized design make functional components for the “Internet of things” possible.