Three-dimensional (3D) printing or additive manufacturing is a layer by layer manufacturing1 method and provides many advantages compared to micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) including one-step production of complex structures, short fabrication time, the ability to integrate multiple components, and abundant printing materials. 3D printing is widely used in many areas such as organ printing, industrial design and attracting more and more interest in microfluidics.
3D printing encompasses fused deposition modeling (FDM)2, stereolithography(SLA)3, Selective laser sintering(SLS), inkjet and polyjet printing4, Laminated object manufacturing (LOM)5, and each method has its own merits. With decreased printer and material costs, 3D printers are becoming commonplace in analytical laboratories where they are being utilized in a wide array of applications. The widely used printer, especially the low-cost desktop 3D printer, promotes the phenomena of Fab@Home, Fab@Lab &Fab@Clinic6. Researcher can print his microfluidics without complicated fabrication method.
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2. Yazdi, A. A.; Popma, A.; Wong, W.; Nguyen, T.; Pan, Y.; Xu, J., 3D printing: an emerging tool for novel microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip applications. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 2016, 20 (3), 50.
3. Comina, G.; Suska, A.; Filippini, D., PDMS lab-on-a-chip fabrication using 3D printed templates. Lab on a Chip 2014, 14 (2), 424-430.
4. Hwang, Y.; Candler, R. N., Non-planar PDMS microfluidic channels and actuators: a review. Lab on a Chip 2017, 17 (23), 3948-3959.
5. Neils, C.; Tyree, Z.; Finlayson, B.; Folch, A., Combinatorial mixing of microfluidic streams. Lab on a Chip 2004, 4 (4), 342-350.
6. He, Y.; Wu, Y.; Fu, J. z.; Gao, Q.; Qiu, J. j., Developments of 3D printing microfluidics and applications in chemistry and biology: a review. Electroanalysis 2016, 28 (8), 1658-1678.