Marilyn Braojos, Nicolas Camejo, Carlos Carrasquillo, Isaac Corcoran, Jose Medina, Lorayne Reyes Pajon
The Printology 3D bioprinter was designed for the University of Florida Soft Matter Engineering lab with the objective of capturing the group’s passion for product versatility and proclivity for user-friendliness while minimizing cost. The product’s quality was not compromised at the expense of reducing cost. The printer aims to use the same connectors, fasteners, and components throughout to facilitate user repairs and adjustments, unless otherwise necessary. The bioprinter’s cell delivery and retraction operations are performed by two separate mechanisms to avoid cross-contamination of cells. During a literature review, it was found that micropumps and piston actuators work best for deposition and retraction, respectively. Both of these systems were realized in the final design. To prevent cross-contamination at the printing interface, two separate needles were also utilized for the two mechanisms. To ensure that only one needle was in the print medium at any given time, a pneumatic mechanism that induces motion in the Z-direction was added to one of the syringes. The motion of the primary print head is achieved using hydraulic cylinders to reduce vibrations caused by motors and other electro-mechanical actuators. The electronics, fluid reservoirs, pumps and motors responsible for the printhead operation and fluid transportation were stored in a remote enclosure. Additional space in the remote mount was also allocated to the Smoothieboard 5X, a power supply, and fans for cooling.