Use of stereolithographic 3D printing for fabrication of micro and millifluidic devices for undergraduate engineering studies
Harris, Bradley J.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Undergraduate STEM student performance is greatly benefited by supplementary, hands-on laboratory experience. Micro and millifluidic devices provide a multitude of opportunities for interactive study of concepts and phenomena encountered in nearly every field of engineering, as well as in chemistry, biology, and other disciplines. Unfortunately, due to the cost and difficulty of standard micro and millifluidic device fabrication methods, many undergraduate students do not have access to these versatile educational tools. Luckily, 3D printing offers an inexpensive and simple solution to this issue. This work aims to demonstrate the capability of stereolithographic (SLA) 3D printing for the fabrication of micro and millifluidic devices for use in undergraduate engineering studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC); the ultimate goal of the work is to enhance student performance though the active study of concepts encountered in courses and undergraduate research projects. The work presented in this paper details the fabrication and analysis of various micro and millifluidic devices produced with a Formlabs Form1+ SLA printer, the initial results obtained through the use of the printed devices, and future plans for the continued integration of this technology into courses and undergraduate research at UTC. Initial experiments with these devices were intended to demonstrate 3D printing capabilities and potential utilization of the printed devices in studies and demonstrations related to fluid mixing, biodiesel production, and droplet generation. These applications were chosen for their relatability to topics covered in various engineering courses and potential for use in research at UTC.
This work is dedicated to the late Dr. Frank Jones, upon whose work this project was based. Thanks to Dr. Bradley Harris and Dr. Trevor Elliott for serving as directors for the project. Additional thanks to UTC's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, which provided funding in the form of a Provost Student Researcher Award.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Three-dimensional printing; Microfluidics; Microfluidic devices
Thome, Cooper, "Use of stereolithographic 3D printing for fabrication of micro and millifluidic devices for undergraduate engineering studies" (2018). Honors Theses.
Dept. of Civil and Chemical Engineering