Droplet microfluidic devices are becoming essential platforms in chemical, material, biological and pharmaceutical applications, where small, highly controllable droplets and particles with uniform size are essential. Commonly used techniques for manufacturing these devices, such as lithography and high-speed milling, are expensive and time-consuming. In contrast, 3D printing provides a useful tool for the rapid production of cheap and sophisticated 3D droplet generators. We use fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technology to fabricate a customizable microfluidic device with droplet chips that can produce highly monodisperse droplets and emulsions. It is possible to generate W/O and O/W droplets with defined parameters by varying the channel diameter and the droplet chip geometry. The 3D-printed microfluidic device with different types of fluidic chips was successfully tested over a range of conditions. We used a computed tomography for the basic internal structure analysis of the microfluidic chip. The results are shown in this work point to significant potential applications of 3D-printing in droplet-based microfluidics production.
Keywords: 3D printing; Microfluidics; Droplet; Emulsions