Skyphos Technologies

Design Rules - The Critical Simples for microfludic and lab on chip 3D printing

The Critical Simples of Lab-on-a-Chip, micro-devices, microfluidics. Walls - Pillars - Roofs - Channels - Chambers - Voids - Membranes - Circles - Squares - Draft Angles - Screw Pattern and Pitch - Spans - Chip-to-World - Aspect Ratios

Origination and File Types:

Design, test, iterate - get to market.

Skyphos works with an amazing array of 3D drawing formats including: PDB (protein databank), 2D, CSVs, stacked con-focals of biological entities and others such as CT scans. Skyphos is compatible with all of the typical 3D packages: Autodesk/Solidworks/Rhino/SketchUp/STEP etc - simple to work with. 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. Note if you are sending a drawing, please let us convert the original to STL format - typical slicing engines cannot handle the details of super-fine meshes, we built a custom slicer that won’t loose your design data.

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.

Please read below on the 3D printing “Critical Simples” (TM) 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.

“The Critical Simples”

Walls - Pillars - Roofs - Channels - Chambers - Voids - Membranes - Circles - Squares - Draft Angles - Screw Pattern and Pitch - Spans - Chip-to-World - Aspect Ratios

critical simples.png

Understanding 3D printing:

Skyphos utilizes a digital light projector (DLP) projector. A DLP’s pixel grid is a set of small square mirrors (digital micro-mirror devices, DMD) which can turn on or off a pixel by switching the angle of the mirror and thus 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 Gillespie Algorithms and specialized processes enable us to keep surface roughness below 200 nm. A sterile, unaltered cell population is critical for further downstream studies. Our selection of polymers allow compatibility and use in bio-reactors, cell biology, etc. and will not cause damage to cells and are easily integrated to microscopy needs due to their low auto-fluorescence and optical clarity.

True Resolution: 3D printer companies, in their rush to get small make a lot of claims about minimal resolution, has lead to an alternate definition of “resolution”. In the case of everyone on market, resolution claims are the same as the minimal pixel size the printers can attain (100-50 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. For SLA the laser cross section must be moved to create this image. From our research generally this spot-size is about 75 um, meaning a the minimal features for creating a solid is close to 150 um, and channel dimensions cannot be lower than 225 um, 10x larger the smallest Skyphos can achieve.

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 along the X and Y axes of a pixel which represents the resolution. A pixel aspect of 10 means that a single DMD mirror reflects the light from the generator and creates a pixel of 10 x 10 um in X and Y where resin can be polymerized. Taken as a whole the grid of pixels define the projector resolution and build area, like 4K/UHD, 1080p/HD, XGA, or WXGA.