Low-Viscosity Liquid Dispensation Thermally Resistant Bioprinter

As the field of biomedical engineering has grown, efforts to combined intuitive design and practical medicine have become intertwined. This can best be seen by the development of the bioprinter, a machine that prints cartilage-like bio-ink into the molds of ears, noses, and other body parts, which has continued to fascinate those in the medical and engineering communities. Through this project, a working low-viscosity liquid dispensation printer with a temperature-gaged extruder-head that can be easily mounted on a larger temperature-controlled body will be designed and constructed. The printer will hold a full range of motion through a 3-Dimensional gantry-movement system with an additional axis to plunge the syringe. By constructing a relatively cheap build, this printer will have the capacity to extrude low-viscosity liquids, namely bio-ink to be used in a bioprinter. In addition, the design will need to be able to respond to g-code that will tell the nose of the extruder when, where, and at what rate to extrude the given filament. Programs such as Autodesk’s Fusion 360 will be used to perform Finite Element Analysis, gage the stress and strain of the constructed apparatus, and evaluate the materials needed to build a prototype. Ultimately, I hope to answer several questions such as: What materials and components are necessary to construct the extruder-head of a bioprinter? How can past designs of bioprinter extruders be improved upon utilizing cost-effective materials? What is the most resilient possible design for a bioprinter extruder such that it can endure high temperatures and levels of stress and strain? My brother, Douglas, aims to work on another aspect of the project. I will focus on the coding and analysis of the low-liquid head while he focuses on temperature control and the gantry. Realistically, we will work as a team aiding each other on our respective goals. A final product will result in a 3D printer that prints low-viscosity liquids in a temperature-controlled environment. The given product should be easily reproducible and of a reasonable cost.