3D printing for microfluidic device fabrication has received considerable interest in recent years, in part driven by the potential to dramatically speed up device development by reducing device fabrication time to the minutes timescale. Moreover, in contrast to traditional cleanroom-based fabrication processes that require manual production and stacking of a limited number of layers, 3D printing allows full use of the 3D fabrication volume to lay out microfluidic elements with complex yet compact 3D geometries. The Nordin group has successfully developed multiple generations of high resolution printers and materials for microfluidic devices that achieve this vision. However, because of the customizability of design in the Nordin microfluidics lab, finding settings that lead to a successful print can involve a taxing cycle of adjustments. The current 3D microfluidics design flow, which requires each student to find settings for each design, makes it difficult for new students to rapidly print successful designs with new components. In this thesis I present an Improved Microfluidic Design Approach (IMDA) that is based on a pre-defined component library. It allows students to reuse a library of components such that a new designer can utilize the work of more experienced predecessors, allowing the lab to avoid repeating the same parameter tuning process with each student. So far the tool has shown the feasibility of printing new designs based on previously tested components. Ultimately, my work demonstrates an attractive path to make the 3D printed microfluidic design experience more robust, repeatable, and easier for newcomers to learn.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Slaugh, Cassandra Ester, "A New Approach for 3D Printed Microfluidic Device Design Based on Pre-Defined Components" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9487.
3D printing, microfluidics, 3D design, software development