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Summary of Fabrication of a microfluidic

The training project was done in groups and each group has a different topic to cover. Since our senior project is about microreactors, we have chosen investigating different fabrication techniques of microreactors.


To begin with, different research papers about fabrication microreactors for dye degradation was read. Between different fabrication materials and methods, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), laser and CNC milling machine were chosen.


The second step was to design the microreactor. Based on our research, 3duf was a great option to construct the design for the flow layer and it can be seen in Fig. 3-1. The design consisted of ports for the inlet and the outlet, curved microchannel and connections to connect the ports to the microchannel. 3duf saves the ports, microchannel and connections in separate files. Thus, Inkscape was used to combine the design parts together and to verify the dimensions.

CO2 Laser

Co2 laser machine was previously examined in Fab Academy program. As mentioned before, it is connected to a PC that has a software, RDWorks, to read 2D designs. First, different power and speed settings were studied to obtain the optimum settings. Different settings gave different depths of the microreactor. Also, it was observed that different focal lengths gave distinct engraving patterns. Once the optimum settings were obtained, the design combined using Inkscape was sent to the PC to start cutting.

CNC Milling Machine

CNC milling machine was the second available microreactor fabrication machine. The machine uses different drill bit sizes to perform the drilling subtractive process. Similar to the CO2 Laser machine, the milling machine is connected to a PC that has software to control the milling process. The used software is called SRP player which accepts 3D files only. Thus, Fusion 360 was used to convert the 2D design from Inkscape into a 3D design and to define the desired depth of the microreactor. The choice of the drill bit sizes depends on the geometry and since the width of the channel was 1.4 mm, the most suitable and accessible drill bit was of 1.35 mm diameter. A long process in the SRP player was followed to identify the required information.


ImageJ is a software used to process and analyze scientific images. In this case, imageJ was used to inspect the measurements of two existing microfluidics. The pictures were taken using a digital microscope. The software simply related pixels to mm measurement. This relation is constructed based on a known length object, lego piece, in our case.

For further detailed information the whole project was documented at my website and my colleagues websites - Research - Design - Fabrication - Inkscape and Fusion 360 steps - ImageJ

Last update: September 11, 2021