Fused Deposition Modeling 3D Printing for (Bio)analytical Device Fabrication: Procedures, Materials, and Applications

In this work, the use of fused deposition modeling (FDM) in a (bio)­analytical/lab-on-a-chip research laboratory is described. First, the specifications of this 3D printing method that are important for the fabrication of (micro)­devices were characterized for a benchtop FDM 3D printer. These include resolution, surface roughness, leakage, transparency, material deformation, and the possibilities for integration of other materials. Next, the autofluorescence, solvent compatibility, and biocompatibility of 12 representative FDM materials were tested and evaluated. Finally, we demonstrate the feasibility of FDM in a number of important applications. In particular, we consider the fabrication of fluidic channels, masters for polymer replication, and tools for the production of paper microfluidic devices. This work thus provides a guideline for (i) the use of FDM technology by addressing its possibilities and current limitations, (ii) material selection for FDM, based on solvent compatibility and biocompatibility, and (iii) application of FDM technology to (bio)­analytical research by demonstrating a broad range of illustrative examples.