VALENCIA, Calif., May 31 -- 3D Systems Corp., in conjunction with Ciba Specialty Chemicals, is currently patenting what it calls tunability : technology capable of creating a solid object with multiple physical properties out of the same material. With this technology, manufacturers could theoretically make a part that's flexible on one end and rigid on the other, commented Mervyn Rudgley, senior director of business development for materials. We're working to make this type of application a reality in the near future. The new product uses 3D's SLA systems, which utilize a laser to harden liquid resin into a solid object. Mechanical properties in the resin can be tuned to display a variety of characteristics in separate areas of the finished product -- all from one source of material.