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J Lab Autom. 2016 Aug;21(4):510-6. doi: 10.1177/2211068215624408. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

Open-Source Wax RepRap 3-D Printer for Rapid Prototyping Paper-Based Microfluidics.

Author information

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA pearce@mtu.edu.
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA.
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA.

Abstract

The open-source release of self-replicating rapid prototypers (RepRaps) has created a rich opportunity for low-cost distributed digital fabrication of complex 3-D objects such as scientific equipment. For example, 3-D printable reactionware devices offer the opportunity to combine open hardware microfluidic handling with lab-on-a-chip reactionware to radically reduce costs and increase the number and complexity of microfluidic applications. To further drive down the cost while improving the performance of lab-on-a-chip paper-based microfluidic prototyping, this study reports on the development of a RepRap upgrade capable of converting a Prusa Mendel RepRap into a wax 3-D printer for paper-based microfluidic applications. An open-source hardware approach is used to demonstrate a 3-D printable upgrade for the 3-D printer, which combines a heated syringe pump with the RepRap/Arduino 3-D control. The bill of materials, designs, basic assembly, and use instructions are provided, along with a completely free and open-source software tool chain. The open-source hardware device described here accelerates the potential of the nascent field of electrochemical detection combined with paper-based microfluidics by dropping the marginal cost of prototyping to nearly zero while accelerating the turnover between paper-based microfluidic designs.

KEYWORDS:

3-D printing; electrochemical detection; lab-on-a-chip; paper-based microfluidics; wax

PMID:
26763294
DOI:
10.1177/2211068215624408
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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