We present a novel 3D printed multimaterial microfluidic proportional valve. The microfluidic valve is a fundamental primitive that enables the development of programmable, automated devices for controlling fluids in a precise manner. We discuss valve characterization results, as well as exploratory design variations in channel width, membrane thickness, and membrane stiffness. Compared to previous single material 3D printed valves that are stiff, these printed valves constrain fluidic deformation spatially, through combinations of stiff and flexible materials, to enable intricate geometries in an actuated, functionally graded device. Research presented marks a shift towards 3D printing multi-property programmable fluidic devices in a single step, in which integrated multimaterial valves can be used to control complex fluidic reactions for a variety of applications, including DNA assembly and analysis, continuous sampling and sensing, and soft robotics.
Keating, S. J., Gariboldi, M. I., Patrick, W. G., Sharma, S., Kong, D. S., & Oxman, N. (2016). 3D printed multimaterial microfluidic valve. PLoS ONE, 11(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160624