Microfluidics support plate machined from acrylic using a DATRON high speed CNC milling machine with vacuum table workholding

Microfluidics Milling


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):

Microfluidics support plate milling case study downloadMicrofluidics Case Study


Microfluidics Milling Tools Brochure Download with tools designed for machining acrylic microfluidics support platesMicrofluidics Milling Tools Brochure (Acrylic)



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?

Part of our sales process is to qualify our equipment for your application. We have a staff of product specialists and application engineers who can help to address your specific challenges.


Use the FORM (right) to initiate a conversation.


Or call us at 888.262.2833

Microfluidics support plate milling case study downloadMicrofluidics Case Study (Acrylic)

Contact Us About Microfluidics Support Plate Milling:

Microfluidics Milling Showcase (Sample Photos):

Click on thumbnail to enlarge and then scroll through gallery:



Milling Machines for Thermoforming:
While all DATRON milling machines are designed for precise machining of plastics used for microfluidics support plates, there are some differentiators that may help you to narrow your search. The M8Cube offers an ample 40" x 32" work area for milling mcirofluidics support plates. Using our Acrylic Tools filter this microfluidics support plates with exceptional surface and edge finish.

For milling microfluidics support plates that are a bit larger or require the highest quality surface finish, the M10Pro is best suited. This is our fastest and most precise CNC machining center. It features a 41" x 35" bed with a high position accuracy. Its solid granite machining table adds rigidity and accuracy. HSK-25E tool holders yield less than 3 micron runout. All of this adds up to mirror-like surface finishes.

Now, if an extremely large work area is required, the MLCube features a 60" x 40" work area. This can also benefit manufacturers who wish to batch machine many parts at one time. Due to features like automatic tool change, batch machining can be run unattended or during lights-out production as a means of cost reduction.