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New research published in Additive Manufacturing, describes the potential of 3D printed customized labware and reaction vessels.

The research team from Finland’s Aalto University and Michigan Technological University, includes Joshua M. Pearce – a leading researcher into many applications of 3D printing. Dr. Pearce runs Michigan Tech’s Open Sustainability Technology Lab.

Study - Goal - Toolkit - Lab - Equipment

The study advances the goal of producing a toolkit for customized and chemically resistant lab equipment using affordable material and FFF/FDM 3D printers.Testing was performed using the Lulzbot Taz 6 3D printer from Aleph Objects who, together with Fulbright Finland, supported the research.

Replacing broken or faulty lab equipment with vendor supplied parts can be a slow and costly process which causes delays to ongoing research projects. On-spot 3D printing lab equipment has provided a viable solution to these problems.

Printing - Allows - Devices - Equipment - Freedom

Furthermore, 3D printing allows for customized medical devices and equipment, which can give more freedom to scientists working on a research project and prevent injuries.

“Customized lab tools also reduce the need to use excess amounts of chemicals,” write the researchers, “as there would be no need to prepare large amounts of solutions into chemical tanks in wet benches. This, in turn, reduces the processing costs and the risk of personal injury in laboratories.”

Research - Paper - Printing - Plastics - PLA

The research paper describes how, ten widely available 3D printing plastics, including PLA, ABS, and PETG, were tested for compatibility with solutions used to wet coat semiconductors.

Map of chemical compatibility of plastics and 3-D printing materials from the literature. Image via Additive Manufacturing.

Study - Compatibility - Printing - Filaments - Solvents

The study was limited to testing the compatibility of 3D printing filaments with solvents, acids, and bases used in wet processing of semiconductor materials.

Experimentation was divided into 3 Phases. In the first phase, the 3D printing filaments were immersed chemical solution for one week. The effects on the materials were compared against the results of previously validated scientific...
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