The process of printing objects with different mechanical strengths using a single ink could replace the costly and time-consuming need to use several inks to print items with multiple properties. “It’s a process that could make the 3D printing of complex objects easier and less expensive.” Most common 3D printing inks feature uniform molecular compositions that result in printed objects with a single property, such as one desired stiffness or elasticity. Printing an object with multiple properties requires the energy-intensive and time-consuming process of preparing different inks that are engineered to work together. The uneven rings also transform the material from a powder into a 3D printing gel. A video demonstrating the research shows a flower printed using a 3D ink produced with the process. Printing the same flower using current 3D printing methods would come with the extra challenge of combining different printed materials.

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