Manufacturing and Optimization of a Wax-Based Microfluidic Fabrication System
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A new, innovative, wax based, contact printing method for the creation of microfluidic devices has been demonstrated. The goal of this research is the quantification of the impact a series of operating parameters has on this wax-based microfluidic printing system. The proposed system is compared with the traditional soft lithographic method, taking into account fabrication time, startup/per unit device costs, quality, resolution, and device performance. This work aims to optimize the wax-based printer system that utilizes additive manufacturing techniques and produces prototype devices with comparable operational efficiency, overcoming the inherent drawbacks associated with traditional methods. The wax-based system could not replace traditional methods in its current form, but has the potential to greatly reduce design and prototyping costs. To validate usability, two identical microfluidic circuits were compared, one made using soft photolithography and the other using the proposed wax-based method.