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The Fluidic Factory is the First Commercial 3D Printer for Fabricating Microfluidic Chips & More

by • March 15, 2016 • No Comments

logouseWhilst we see bright, shiny new PC 3D printing devices each day, the Fluidic Factory 3D printing device puts the emphasis in new unlike many others, just for the reason it provides a thing many of us have never considered in a machine. This is the initially commercial FDM 3D printing device of its kind, enabling virtually anyone to manufacture fluidically sealed devices (for performance in mixing, sorting, pumping and more) with swift prototyping, via cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), which is a robust material which is biocompatible, translucent, and approved by the FDA for implantables. You can manufacture devices such as:

Microfluidic chipsManifolds and connectorsSelections of the Fluidic Factory turn it into library (at as little as $1 per chip)

The Fluidic Factory is intended for users involved in applications such as organ-on-a-chip, analytical processes, point of care diagnostics, drug development, education, chemical synthesis, and biomedical assays. Described as an ‘intelligent printing device,’ it confirms which fluidic paths are sealed, and showcases an upgradeable print head, bed, and software for introduced user functionality in the next (as well as enabling use of a variety of polymers, ultra-high definition printing, micromilling, fluid dispensing, and actually bio-printing).

You can turn it into your own device, or use the library, and files are easily transferred to the standalone printing device via USB. An intuitive touch screen allows for you to select your particular file and print, as well as checking status in real time and receiving information on time left, and how much filament has been utilized. The tiny printing device showcases a tiny print bed, made specifically for tiny items like chips, is magnetic, and allows for you to remove your prints easily. (For an example of how the Fluidic Factory works, see the demonstration of droplet generation at a lower place, with the 3D printing device droplet chip.)

UntitledWith the use of inductive heating, a ‘clever turn it into’ allows for for the filament to melt together, and and so a tiny volume of polymer is melted to a fluid say at quite high temperatures and just held a few seconds preceding ejecting and depositing it. This allows for for the most adherence possible, optimizes the material, and promises ‘leak-free channels.’ The printing device employs a ‘squashed bead method’ which works by depositing beads, instead of laying them down in a circular cross-section pattern. This one-of-a-kind method is necessary for fluidic sealing of the print.

The Fluidic Factory 3D printing device allows for for one-of-a-kind turn it into creativity, as well as the opportunity to manufacture new devices like 3D mixers, non-rectangular chips, and one-of-a-kind channel geometries and showcases not possible via etching, embossing, molding or machining techniques.Untitled

Other showcases include:

Motor feedback – confirms correct feed rate of polymer.Extremely accurate nozzle movement – offers excellent precision in printing. Disposable nozzle confirms preservation of printing high end and accuracy of less than 1 µm.Inductive heating coil – allows for for high-speed heating, great control, and effortless replacement of print nozzle, which is disposable.Polymer reel – changed in seconds, holds 60 m of material with a disposable nozzle changed for each reel. Auto-alert lets you understand when polymer is running low.Compact dimensions – 300 x 300 x 500 mm; 10 kg.

Just launched at Lab-on-a-Chip & Microfluidics 2016 being held in Madrid, Spain of March 15-16, the new 3D printing device is manufactured by Dolomite. Founded in 2005, the company is headquartered in the UK and specializes in micro-fabrication and microfluidics. They now have clients in over 50 countries, involved in sectors such as universities and colleges, biotechs, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, government, making, and more—to include numerous startups.

COC Specs

Material: COC (cyclic olefin copolymer), grade 8007S-04Maximum dimensions: 85 mm (l) x 50 mm (w) x 25 mm (h)Maximum pressure: 10-20 bar, subject to turn it into geometryTemperature range: Up to 77°CChemical compatibility: COC is one of the many resistant plastics to a wide range of polar solvents and moleculesMethod of printing: Features are made by adding layers with an obround cross sectional area (‘cylinder’ with flattened, parallel top and bottom and semicylinder sides). As adjoining layers are printed, the polymer flows into the areas above and at a lower place the semicylindrical layers to turn it into one seamless layerPrinting resolution (dimensions of layer): Okay printing mode: 320 µm (w) x 150 µm (h). Increased operating pressure and excellenter fluidic sealing. Fast printing mode: 400 µm (w) x 200 µm (h). Quicker prototyping, useful for larger print itemsPrint time (dimensions): 20mins (tiny 15 x 15 x 2 mm), 1hr (medium 40 x 15 x 4 mm), 24hr (large 85 x 50 x 25 mm)

UntitledFluidic Factory 3D Printer Specs

Size: 300 x 300 x 500 mmWeight: 10 kgSetup time: 10 min of unboxing to printPrint head with inductive heater: User replaceable to enable next upgrades. Heats up to 240°C. Includes safety showcase to ensure print head cannot be removed when hotSelf-cleaning COC polymer filament reel: Contains 60 m of polymer (typically suitable for printing 100 medium dimensionsd chips) with disposable nozzlePrint bed: User replaceable to enable next upgrades. Temperature up to 120°CPrint bed tray: Magnetically detachable to enable effortless removal of printed device or replacement in the case of wearData transfer: USB flash drive

See a demonstration of the new Fluidic Factory 3D printing device in the video at a lower place. Is this innovation which you may be informative in purchasing? Discuss in the Fluidic Factory 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.