Building upon previous research on Digital Light Projection (DLP) 3D printing for microfluidics, in this thesis I performed the detailed design and fabrication of a novel DLP 3D printer to increase resolution and device footprint flexibility. This new printer has a pixel resolution twice that of our group’s previous printers (3.8 μm vs 7.6 μm). I demonstrated a new state of the art for minimum channel width, reducing the minimum width to 15 μm wide (and 30 μm tall). This is an improvement over the previous smallest width of 20 μm. This printer also has the capacity to perform multiple spatially distinct exposures per printed layer and stitch them into one interconnected device. Image stitching enables printing devices with identical build areas to previous printers, and with smaller pixel pitch. I pursued validation of this stitching capacity by fabricating channel devices with features crossing the stitched image boundary, with the goal of printing channels that would flow fluid consistently and without leaking. To accomplish this, I began by characterizing the print parameters for successfully printing single microfluidics channels across the stitched image boundary, and then I explored the sensitivity of my method to multiple crossings of the image boundary by printing a stacked serpentine channel that crossed the stitched image boundary 392 times. This demonstrated that an arbitrary number of stitched boundary crossings are feasible and thus a high degree of complex device component integration across these boundaries is also possible. These developments will be useful in future research and design of 3D printed microfluidic devices.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hooper, Kent Richard, "Developing Ultra-High Resolution 3D Printing for Microfluidics" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9641.
microfluidics, 3D printing, DLP-SLA