Home Research & Education Open source design platform for 3D-printed microfluidic devices

Open source design platform for 3D-printed microfluidic devices

Microfluidics and 3D printing offer exciting opportunities in biology, chemistry and medicine. However, the design of 3D-printed microfluidic devices is complex and requires specialized knowledge. A research team at the Technical University of Munich presents Flui3d, an interactive software platform for designing microfluidic devices for 3D printing. Flui3d provides a standardized component library support for multi-layered designs and enables design without specialized knowledge.

A preferred method of 3D printing is stereolithography (SLA), which is known for its high precision. However, it also has its challenges, such as light penetration. This can affect print quality, especially with small or multi-layered devices. This is where Flui3d, an open-source platform developed specifically for the design of 3D-printed microfluidic devices, comes in. The platform dynamically optimizes designs for manufacturing by adjusting design dimensions during output to compensate for light penetration issues.

The platform supports both planar and multi-layered designs and generates STL files for 3D printing or SVG files for other manufacturing methods. Designs can be exported in JSON format, which promotes sharing and reuse within the community. In addition, modules can be placed in a 2D surface, with Flui3d automatically generating the corresponding 3D design.

Flui3d demonstrates how sophisticated software solutions can lower the barriers in microfluidic design, enabling wider use and innovation in additive manufacturing. This platform thus represents an important advance that facilitates and accelerates the development and production of microfluidic devices for a wide range of applications.

More details can be found in the scientific paper “Open-source interactive design platform for 3D-printed microfluidic devices”.

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