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Development of a Three-Dimensional Printer for Water-Soluble Biomaterial Printing

[+] Author Affiliations
Chih-Yuan Su, Gou-Jen Wang

National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

Paper No. DETC2018-85057, pp. V004T08A001; 8 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 23rd Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 12th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, August 26–29, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5179-1
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


In this study, a three-dimensional bioscaffold printer was developed to fabricate biocompatible scaffolds from water-soluble materials for application in cell studies. A gelatin/sodium alginate solution was used to produce the scaffolds via a fused deposition modelling (FDM) printing method using the modified 3D printer. Modifications and improvements to the material feeding system, printing head, and printing platform were made, with additional optimization of the printing parameters, such as the feed rate, printing rate, and printing head size to investigate the precision and accuracy of two-dimensional and 3D bioscaffold printing. In addition to modifications of the feeding system from the original solid to the new liquid state material, a heating probe and coil were added to maintain the liquid phase. The printing nozzle was also altered to allow for the feed material and a cross-linking agent to mix prior to printing; enabling cross-linked scaffolds to be produced. Furthermore, the printing surface was integrated with a filter to allow for excess fluid to drain from the scaffold after printing and cross-linking. The results of this study revealed that the optimal printing parameters for producing a 2D 15.3 mm × 15.3 mm square was with a printing head-platform distance of 4 mm, material feed rate of 5 mL/min, printing rate of 35 mm/s and a printing head diameter of 0.4 mm. In addition, it was found that the printing speed and the printed image size and resolution are correlated, as such, the smallest dimensions able to be printed is 10.3 mm × 10.3 mm, with a line width of 1 mm. In regards to 3D scaffolds, the printed scaffolds had dimensions of 20 mm × 20.15 mm with a height of 7.5 mm; which were found to support the growth of mouse fibroblast cells.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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