Get our free book on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Open-source Wax RepRap 3-D Printer for Rapid Prototyping Paper-Based Microfluidics

From Appropedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunhusky.png By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.

Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
Contact Dr. Joshua Pearce or Apply here

MOST: Projects and Publications, Methods, Lit. reviews, People, Sponsors
Twitter updates @ProfPearce


Pearce Publications By Topic: Energy Conservation Energy Policy Industrial SymbiosisLife Cycle Analysis Materials Science Open Source Photovoltaic Systems Solar CellsSustainable Development Sustainability Education

This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk.
This OSAT has been modeled.
This OSAT has been prototyped.
This OSAT has been verified by: MOST.

You can help Appropedia by contributing to the next step in this OSAT's status.




The open-source release of self-replicating rapid prototypers (RepRaps), has created a rich opportunity for low-cost distributed digital fabrication of complex three dimensional objects such as scientific equipment. For example, 3-D printable reactionware devices offer the opportunity to combine open hardware microfluidic handling with lab on a chip reactionware to radically reduce costs and increase the number and complexity of microfluidic applications. To further drive down the cost while improving the performance of lab-on-a-chip paper-based microfluidic prototyping this study reports on the development of a RepRap upgrade capable of converting a Prusa Mendel RepRap into a wax 3-D printer for paper-based microfluidic applications. An open-source hardware approach is used to demonstrate a 3-D printable upgrade for the 3-D printer, which combines a heated syringe pump with the RepRap/Arduino 3-D control. The bill of materials, designs, basic assembly and use instructions are provided along with a completely free and open source software tool chain. The open source hardware device described here accelerates the potential of the nascent field of electrochemical detection combined with paper-based microfluidics by dropping the marginal cost of prototyping to nearly zero while accelerating the turnover between paper-based microfluidic designs.


3-D printing, wax, paper-based microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, electrochemical detection




Refer to paper for overall details.

Prepare components

  1. File:Prep syringe retainer.odt
  2. File:Prep carriage.odt
  3. File:Prep motor assembly.odt
  4. File:Prep syringe carriage.odt


  1. File:Carriage.odt
  2. File:Threaded rod.odt
  3. File:Motor.odt
  4. File:Finish wax.odt


To use follow more general instructions here: Open source syringe pump 3-D printer and use open-source Franklin software

See also[edit]