Rapid prototyping for micro-engineering and microfluidic applications: Recycled pmma, a sustainable substrate material

Alfredo Edoardo Ongaro, Nicola Howarth, Vincenzo La Carrubba, Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


Poly(methylmethacrylate), PMMA, is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics for the manufacture of micromechanical and microfluidic devices, due to its optical transparency, rigid mechanical properties, low cost and good workability in conjunction with its rapid prototyping and mass manufacturing. Recent advances in the rapid-prototyping fields have allowed the production of precise features compatible with microfluidic structures and accelerated the conversion process from bench-side to mass market. For example, to address the need for fast design cycles using material compatible with mass manufacturing, we have developed an ultrafast prototyping technique for the manufacture of multilayer PMMA micro devices (doi:10.1007/s10404-016-1823-1) and described a method to choose the right PMMA for this prototyping technique (doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-792-4-181). PMMA is a petrochemical-derived material and the rising demand for single-use disposable devices will inevitably result into increased medical plastic waste. To address this problem at the design/prototyping stage, we explored the possibility of utilizing recycled PMMA (Re-PMMA) as the substrate material in our technique. The aim of this work is to compare commercially available recycled PMMA (Re-PMMA) with pristine PMMA (pPMMA) in conjunction with our prototyping technique. The information reported here will provide a practical guide to researchers when selecting Re-PMMA material for a more sustainable approach to micro-engineering and microfluidic rapid-prototyping.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Manufacturing Technology XXXII
EditorsPeter Thorvald, Keith Case
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781614994398
ISBN (Print)9781614999010
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event16th International Conference on Manufacturing Research 2018 - Skovde, Sweden
Duration: 11 Sept 201813 Sept 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Transdisciplinary Engineering
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)2352-751X
ISSN (Electronic)2352-7528


Conference16th International Conference on Manufacturing Research 2018
Abbreviated titleICMR 2018


  • Design for sustainability
  • Microfluidic
  • PMMA
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Recycled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Software
  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Strategy and Management


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