Origination and File Types:
Design, test, and iterate simplified
We accept and have worked with all 3D drawing formats including PDB (protein databank). We have done work with 2D, CSVs, stacked confocal imaging for models of biological entities and others such as CT scans. Simply fill out our form, upload the drawing and you will have a quote in 24 hours or less. If you need to speak with someone on the engineering team or have questions about how to integrate your drawings to a device, please reach out on our contact page.
Skyphos strives to provide an investigative platform that works for everyone, if your requirements are outside of what we can accomplish, please stay in touch by signing up for the newsletter - you’ll be the first to know updates on process improvements and capabilities.
Understanding 3D printing:
Skyphos utilizes a digital light projector (DLP) projector. A DLPs pixel grid is a set of small square mirrors (digital micromirror devices, DMD) which can turn on or off a pixel by directing light toward or away from the resin vat. When a pixel is “on” light hits the resin vat and it cures the resin in that area. While typical DLP projectors can achieve 50 um pixel sizes, Skyphos patent pending technology allows us to get down to the single digit microns. This is important because microfluidics and other devices require feature sizes below 100 um. Our other algorithms and specialized processes enable us to keep surface roughness below 200 nm, and our selection of polymers allow compatibility and use in bio-reactors, cell biology, etc and will not cause damage to cells.
True Resolution: 3D printer companies in their rush to get small make a lot of claims about minimal resolution. This has lead to an alternate definition of “resolution”. In the case of every reviewed printer, the claims of resolution is exactly the same as the minimal pixel size any of these printers can attain (usually 50 um), however this is not true resolution. True resolution is what can be printed and measured. Generally, when working with DLP, it will require at least 2 pixels next to one another to make a solid and 3 pixels to create a void or channel. If you want to create a circular profile, generally it takes at least 5-7x pixels (XY) to create this effect.
This means that at 5 um pixel sizes, Skyphos can create 10 um features (pillars or walls) and 15 um voids or channels. By adjusting the pixel size up or down the overall platform size changes and these minimal features also change.
Pixel and pixel-grid defined: A pixel is defined just like the ones viewed on a CRT-TV, a small square. It is the aspect (XY) of pixels which represents the resolution. A pixel aspect of 10 means that a single DMD mirror reflects the light from the generator, creating a pixel of 10 x 10 um in X and Y where resin can be polymerized. In total, a grid of pixels define the projector resolution and build area, like 1080 or 4K. A 4K utilizes 3840 x 2160 pixels in X and Y.
Generally Skyphos recommends a 10 um pixel aspect. If your design has resolutions and spacing below 10 um, some parts will be truncated, cut off or blurred by the optics. This redaction may also appear to be randomized in the case of pillar arrays as you press further into the machine capabilities . If you need a different aspect ratio, we are happy to make adjustments, but don’t design for 13.25 um spacing or features if 10 or 15 um works just as well and COMSOL or other software shows little or no change at the proper mesh.
Please read below on the 3D printing “Critical Simples” to help us get your device up and running. If it doesn’t fit in the “box”, reach out, we are here to help! We love a good challenge and want to improve our process!