Microfluidic support plates are used for the distribution of minimal amounts of liquids (Microfluidics) in medical technology. The challenge in milling is the precise and burr-free reproduction of the geometries, in particular the micro-channels located in the cylindrical portion of the plate, which have a width of 0.5 mm and a depth of 0.3 mm.
The support plate above is made of highly transparent acrylic glass (PMMA) is produced in two clamping operations, both of them done on a DATRON vacuum table. The orientation of the coordinate system for the second clamping operation is guaranteed by the reference drilling holes. For this purpose, the positions of the drilling hole scan be measured with DATRON’s precision probe, determining the angular displacement and automatically correcting it. Only DATRON tools are used for the manufacture of the depicted microfluidic support plate. Programming is done in Mastercam. DATRON high speed CNC machining centers offer the following advantages:
- High Speed Spindles (up to 60,000 RPM) - The high spindle speed reduces the chip load which reduces the forces between the tool and the material. High-speed/low-force machining yields less heat, reduces tool deflection, and allows machining of thinner walled work pieces. This all results in cooler machining, superior surface quality and better accuracy.
- Spray-Mist Coolant System - The spray-mist coolant system minimizes the time consuming and expensive maintenance issues associated with flood-type coolant systems. It is a highly-effective method of cooling and can reduce or even eliminate degreasing and disposal costs.
- Probing / Surface Scanning - scans surface, recognizes irregular work-piece topography and compensates for it dynamically
- Automatic Tool Changer - up to 45 tool stations depending on machine model, includes tool-length and breakage detection
- Vacuum Table Workholding - vacuum tables from 12" x 18" up to 24" x 36" provide quick setup of sheet material
- Pneumatic Clamping Systems - pneumatic, shortstroke clamps that minimize setup times for redundant processes
- 5-Axis Capability - integrated trunnion-style rotary axis for multisided milling of aluminum (watch video)
LEARN MORE: View our Microfluidics Showcase (at the bottom of the page) and download our Microfluidics Case Study (below):
Milling machines for microfluidics support plates - While all DATRON machines can be utilized for milling microfluidics support plates, here are a few specific models that you may want to look at: M8Cube, M10Pro and MLCube (see page bottom for reasons).
Do you have an microfluidics application?
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Microfluidics Milling Showcase (Sample Photos):