Ultra-fast-prototyping of PMMA structures for micro-engineering applications: Choosing the right material

Alfredo E. Ongaro, Gioacchino Conoscenti, Antonio Liga, Valerio Brucato, Marc Phillipe Yves Desmulliez, Nicola Howarth, Vincenzo La Carrubba, Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Machining of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) by laser has been extensively studied in engineering research for several applications including microfluidic manufacturing and rapid prototyping. However, very few investigations have taken into consideration the wide range of physico-chemical characteristics of commercially available PMMA that can often affect the quality of the laser-machined structures. These characteristics are often ignored, with many manufacturing publications focusing on a single source of PMMA. To understand the different bonding strengths and laser-cut qualities in the context of our ultra-fast prototyping technique, four types of PMMA have been examined. Molecular weights, and thermal properties have been determined and their roles on the bonding strength and CO2 laser cut quality, including kerf width and taper angle, have been investigated. This study demonstrates that the choice of material, for rapid prototyping of multi-layered structures via CO2 laser machining and solvent-assisted bonding, is crucial and provides a practical guide to researchers selecting PMMA material for use in micro-engineering and microfluidic rapidprototyping.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Manufacturing Technology XXXI
EditorsJames Gao, Mohammed El Souri, Simeon Keates
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781614997924
ISBN (Print)9781614997917
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event15th International Conference on Manufacturing Research: Incorporating the 32nd National Conference on Manufacturing Research - The University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20177 Sept 2017
http://www.icmr.org.uk/ICMR2017/index.html (Conference website)
https://www.waset.org/conference/2017/03/osaka/ICMR (Conference website)

Publication series

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


Conference15th International Conference on Manufacturing Research
Abbreviated titleICMR 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe International Conference on Manufacturing Research (ICMR2017) will take place from 5 to 7 September 2017 on the main campus of the University of Greenwich, London, UK. It will include keynote presentations by internationally renowned researchers and industrialists, as well as papers from academia and industry, exploring all core areas of manufacturing engineering.
Internet address


  • Laser ablation
  • Laser-matter interactions
  • Microfluidics
  • Poly(methyl methacrylate)
  • Rapid-prototyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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