The Canadian company CADworks3D has introduced the ProFluidics 285D, a 3D printer specifically designed for the production of microfluidic chips. These miniaturized lab-on-a-chip systems are used in medical diagnostics, for example.
Until now, the production of such chips was very complex and expensive. With the new DLP-based 3D printer, researchers can now cost-effectively produce small batches of microfluidic chips right at their desks.
According to CADworks3D, channels as small as 80 μm wide can be printed. A dynamic pixel resolution of 28.5 μm enables highly detailed imaging of the microstructures. The printer is suitable for various applications such as transparent chips, master molds or biocompatible structures.
Overall, the ProFluidics 285D is expected to significantly accelerate microfluidics research. While conventional manufacturing processes usually have to be outsourced, scientists can now quickly and inexpensively produce prototypes and small batches in their own labs.
According to CADworks3D, a 5g chip costs only about 2 euros. The ProFluidics 285D is thus likely to decisively advance development in microfluidics.