Microfluidic Manufacturing Technique: CNC Micromachining
CNC Micromachining is defined as the removal of material at micro level.
During the last year the interest over the micro machining technology has increased.
Due to this, every manufacturing and industry segment has started to work, segments such as aerospace, automotive world or medical appliances.
Even , nowadays, there are still several technical challenges the potential for product miniaturization continues to grow.
The micromachining technologies involves to work with features smaller than 0,001”, that is why, it is necessary to work with accuracy in the 0,0001” or less range, using always cutters smaller than 1/8 or about 3mm. It takes significant speed to effectively use such small-diameter tools, and the machines have to be, as said before, very accurate.
Taking into account the microfluidic field of technology, we can say that micromachining can be used in this field, because recent developments in microfabrication enables the integration of hard and soft structures, making possible to control the microfluidic systems structures. This structures can be applied to drug delivery.
Moreover, there is a manufacturing method which involves laser micromachining for the structure of microfluidic channels in a thin metallic sheet.
It is important to say that some polymers are better to use over silicone when building microfluidic devices because they have biocompatible properties as well as cheapness. Also, using micromachining it is possible to make fewer processing steps than using the conventional way.