Frequently Asked Questions
Please find here answers to the most common questions we get.
Of course we'd love to talk to you, so feel free to get in touch to discuss your project ideas.
Q: How is your 3D microfluidic printing different to how others microfluidics are created?
A: We have a unique, novel process that allows us to print uniform microfluidic channels with great resolution and finish. It took ages to get right, and we're pretty proud of it. This means we can go from design to part within a day with minimal manipulation. Other companies mould or mill these parts are so they suffer from long lead times, high tooling costs, or unrepresentative surface finish that we do not.
Q: What scale can you manufacture at?
A: Orders to date have ranged from 1 to 2000 parts. There has been interest up to 10,000 parts, so we are preparing to scale for that level as well. Talk to us about larger orders, we can probably help you select an appropriate transferable manufacturing method and help with design for manufacture, if it's up beyond what is sensible for 3D prints.
Q: Are your materials biocompatible?
A: We have a range of materials available, including biocompatible options. Depending on customer’s specification, we can recommend materials that are biocompatible for applications such as cell culture, nucleic acid amplification or even implantable devices. We can provide details on biocompatibility testing we've done so far.
Q: What are the smallest microfluidic channel dimensions you can print?
A: The smallest channel sizes that can be formed are dependent on the whole part geometry and the selected resin material, however the smallest rectangular channel formed consistently and accurately is 150 um. The smallest circular channel is 500-1000 um depending on channel pattern and resin viscosity. Different channel cross-section shapes are possible.
Q: What do you offer for design support?
A: We have over 100yrs combined engineering, system and microfluidic experience, we can assist with de novo or advise on existing designs and iterations.
Q: How quickly can I expect my parts to be delivered?
A: Typically we can print the same day, but allowing some CAD tweaks and shipping time we tend to say 2-5 days.
Q: Do you offer standard parts?
A: We do, click HERE to be taken to our shop of customizable standard parts.
Q: How is the reproducibility and quality of the units?
A: As we use additive manufacturing, reproducibility and quality of the produced part is typical of all 3D printed parts manufactured with SLA technology. In practice, as with all AM manufacturing processes this means increased time for optimizing the process to a specific microfluidic geometry, as compared to CNC micromilling or micro-forming processes and increased margins of printing errors,
which are compensated by the lower production and materials costs and/or higher productivity rates (compared to CNC micromilling).
Q: What is your Quality Control process?
A: Currently, all single parts produced in our lab are manually evaluated in terms of geometrical accuracy, feature definition and surface quality. Enclosed microfluidic prints are also evaluated in terms of fluid flow to ensure there is no leakage and/or flow obstruction due to inaccuracies or debris in the channels.
Q: Do you have standard pricing?
A: Standard parts have standard pricing per the Store. For custom components costs are calculated based on many geometric variables, we can typically get a custom project cost back to you within 1-2 days, quicker for more simple geometries.
Q: What types of connections do you support?
A: We regularly integrate standard connections such as luer locks, mini luers, barbs and threads into 3D printed microfluidics parts. We can also help in designing customised interfaces tailored to your specific needs.
Q: Can you print other conformations besides microfluidic chips?
A: Absolutely, typically we specialise in microfluid channels, but various projects have seen us use our printers (and the rest of our engineering workshop) to make a variety of parts to fully support client projects.
Q: Can I add sensors or other components to my project?
A: You can, we can support a wide variety of components, get in touch to discuss with us.
Q: Who owns the Intellectual Property?
A: Your designs and any design work we do for you remains your Intellectual Property. If there are any novel manufacturing processes or apporaches that are developed during your project the Intellectual Property for that stays with us.