An open source toolkit for 3D printed fluidics

    Adam J. N. Price1, Andrew J. Capel2, Robert J. Lee1, Patrick Pradel3, Steven D. R. Christie1

    • 1School of Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
    • 2School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
    • 3Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK

    As 3D printing technologies become more accessible, chemists are beginning to design and develop their own bespoke printable devices particularly applied to the field of flow chemistry. Designing functional flow components can often be a lengthy and laborious process requiring complex 3D modelling and multiple design iterations. In this work, we present an easy to follow design workflow for minimising the complexity of this design optimization process. The workflow follows the development of a 3D printable ‘toolkit’ of common fittings and connectors required for constructing basic flow chemistry configurations. The toolkit components consist of male threaded nuts, junction connectors and a Luer adapter. The files have themselves been made freely available and open source. The low cost associated with the toolkit may encourage educators to incorporate flow chemistry practical work into their syllabus such that students may be introduced to the principles of flow chemistry earlier on in their education and furthermore, may develop an early appreciation of the benefits of 3D printing in scientific research. In addition to the printable toolkit, the use of the 3D modelling platform – Rhino3D has been demonstrated for its application in fluidic reactor chip design modification. The simple user interface of the programme reduces the complexity and workload involved in printable fluidic reactor design.

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