Diaz Lantada, Andres and Piotter, Volker and Plewa, Klaus and Barie, Nicole and Guttmann, Markus and Wissmann, Markus
Toward mass production of microtextured microdevices: linking rapid prototyping with microinjection molding.
"International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology", v. 76
The possibility of manufacturing textured materials and devices, with surface properties controlled from the design stage, instead of being the result of machining processes
or chemical attacks, is a key factor for the incorporation of advanced functionalities to a wide set of micro and nanosystems. Recently developed high-precision additive manufacturing technologies, together with the use of fractal models linked to computer-aided design tools, allow for a precise definition and control of final surface properties for a wide set of applications, although the production of larger series based on these resources is still an unsolved challenge. However, rapid prototypes, with controlled surface topography, can be used as original masters for obtaining micromold inserts for final large-scale series manufacture of replicas using microinjection molding. In this study, an original procedure is presented, aimed at connecting rapid prototyping with microinjection molding, for the mass production of two different microtextured microsystems, linked to tissue engineering tasks, using different thermoplastics as ultimate materials.