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Comparing microfluidic performance of three-dimensional (3D) printing platforms


Macdonald, NP and Cabot, JM and Smejkal, P and Guijt, RM and Paull, B and Breadmore, MC, Comparing microfluidic performance of three-dimensional (3D) printing platforms, Analytical Chemistry, 89, (7) pp. 3858-3866. ISSN 0003-2700 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 American Chemical Society ACS AuthorChoice - This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.

DOI: doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00136


Three-dimensional (3D) printing has emerged as a potential revolutionary technology for the fabrication of microfluidic devices. A direct experimental comparison of the three 3D printing technologies dominating microfluidics was conducted using a Y-junction microfluidic device, the design of which was optimized for each printer: fused deposition molding (FDM), Polyjet, and digital light processing stereolithography (DLP-SLA). Printer performance was evaluated in terms of feature size, accuracy, and suitability for mass manufacturing; laminar flow was studied to assess their suitability for microfluidics. FDM was suitable for microfabrication with minimum features of 321 5 μm, and rough surfaces of 10.97 μm. Microfluidic devices >500 μm, rapid mixing (71% 12% after 5 mm, 100 μL/min) was observed, indicating a strength in fabricating micromixers. Polyjet fabricated channels with a minimum size of 205 13 μm, and a surface roughness of 0.99 μm. Compared with FDM, mixing decreased (27% 10%), but Polyjet printing is more suited for microfluidic applications where flow splitting is not required, such as cell culture or droplet generators. DLP-SLA fabricated a minimum channel size of 154 10 μm, and 94 7 μm for positive structures such as soft lithography templates, with a roughness of 0.35 μm. These results, in addition to low mixing (8% 1%), showed suitability for microfabrication, and microfluidic applications requiring precise control of flow. Through further discussion of the capabilities (and limitations) of these printers, we intend to provide guidance toward the selection of the 3D printing technology most suitable for specific microfluidic applications.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:3D printing, microfabrication, microfluidics
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Analytical chemistry
Research Field:Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
UTAS Author:Macdonald, NP (Dr Niall Macdonald)
UTAS Author:Cabot, JM (Dr Joan Cabot Canyelles)
UTAS Author:Smejkal, P (Dr Petr Smejkal)
UTAS Author:Guijt, RM (Dr Rosanne Guijt)
UTAS Author:Paull, B (Professor Brett Paull)
UTAS Author:Breadmore, MC (Professor Michael Breadmore)
ID Code:120107
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:228
Deposited By:Austn Centre for Research in Separation Science
Deposited On:2017-08-10
Last Modified:2022-08-22
Downloads:339 View Download Statistics

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