In May 2020, the article “3D printing vertically: Direct ink writing free-standing pillar arrays” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mattod.2020.01.003) was published in the magazine “Materials Today” (5-year impact factor of 32,072) of the co-authorship of researcher Bo Nan, currently in post-doctorate studies at the University of Science and Technology of Huazhong, China, and of professor José M.F. Ferreira, both from DEMaC/CICECO, and researcher Francisco J. Galindo-Rosales, from CEFT, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto.
The article presents several examples of uniaxial and periodic printing of column arrangements from ceramic pastes with well controlled viscoelastic properties. This promising approach demonstrates the possibility of expanding the applicability of 3D printing using more versatile degrees of freedom and more complex printing instructions.
There are many ideas on how to use such systems for medical and other applications. It is hoped that this innovative work will inspire the scientific community and open up interesting avenues for the use of advanced materials in the areas of science and technology.