Capillary-Driven Flow in Open Microchannels Printed with Fused Deposition Modeling
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The fundamentals of fluid flow in 3D printed, open microchannels created using fused deposition modeling (FDM) are explored. Printed microchannels are used in microfluidic devices and have potential applications in embedding electronics in plastic substrates. However, FDM parts possess rough surfaces, and in this study, surface topography is shown to have an important impact on flow behavior, causing the liquid to travel down the channel with a characteristic ‘pulsing’ movement. We also analyze the influence of print orientation on capillary flow, where microchannels printed in specific orientations are shown to exhibit different flow dynamics.