Low-cost rapid prototyping of glass microfluidic devices using a micromilling technique

  • Xiaoyong Ku
  • Zongwei Zhang
  • Xiaolong Liu
  • Li Chen
  • Gang LiEmail author
Research Paper


A method is proposed for rapid prototyping of glass microfluidic devices utilizing a commercial micromilling machine. In the proposed approach, micromilling is performed with the glass substrates immersed in cool water, which could efficiently remove debris and increase the life of milling tools. We also investigate the effects of spindle speed, feed rate, cutting depth, cooling mode, and tool type on finished channel geometries, bottom surface roughness, and burring along the channel sides. It was found that low cutting depths, high spindle speeds and low feed rate produce smoother channels. Several functional microfluidic devices were demonstrated with this rapid prototyping method. The results confirm that the proposed micromilling technique represents a viable solution for the rapid and economic fabrication of glass-based microfluidic chips. We believe that this method will greatly improve the accessibility of glass microfluidic devices to researchers.


Microfabrication Rapid prototyping Micromilling Glass microfluidic device 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 61771078 and 61271161), the Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology (no. cstc2017jcyjB0182) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (no. 106112016CDJXZ238826).

Supplementary material

10404_2018_2104_MOESM1_ESM.doc (834 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 834 KB)

Supplementary material 2 (WMV 649 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and Systems, Ministry of Education, Defense Key Disciplines Lab of Novel Micro-Nano Devices and System TechnologyChongqing UniversityChongqingChina

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