Dutch 3D printer manufacturer FELIXprinters has just announced the commercial launch of the FELIX BIOprinter. The bioprinter, which was unveiled at Formnext 2019 in Frankfurt, is now ready for its market release. The company says it is already processing pre-orders.
The FELIX BIOprinter expands the company’s existing portfolio of FFF 3D printers, including the Pro 3, Pro L and Pro XL. The new system integrates the same chassis structure as the polymer 3D printers and introduces new features targeted to medical and research applications, including a dual syringe head system, syringe cooling, print bed cooling and heating, easy syringe positioning and automatic bed levelling. The system has a 50 micron resolution capability and a recommended build speed of 20 mm/s.
“The BIOprinter has been designed to be the ultimate bio research instrument in a cost-effective package,” said Wilgo Feliksdal, Co-Founder of FELIXprinters. “It has been developed alongside the brightest minds in the bioprinting sector, and we partnered with training4crm and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme to develop the BIOprinter. Uniquely, the BIOprinter combines dual sterilizable printheads which have a modular design for easy changeovers, and separate heads are available to print different bio-inks at the same time. This integrates different material properties into a single scaffold structure.”
As Feliksdal points out, the FELIX BIOprinter was developed in part through the EU-backed “training4crm” project, which brought together a consortium of partners from across industry and academia. By combining the expertise of these partners, FELIXprinters was able to advance its bioprinting platform and prepare it for commercial release.
The new bioprinting system is suitable for a range of medical research applications and is compatible with a variety of materials. This versatility is thanks to the system’s strong motors which are capable of extruding several viscosity levels. The system is also upgradeable, meaning that users can easily update their bioprinter and increase its lifecycle significantly.
“The BIOprinter consists of an adaptable and flexible ecosystem to ensure that it can meet a wide range of researchers’ needs without generating unnecessary costs,” Feliksdal added. “One major advantage is the source control system which enables the user to use standard slicing software and make changes themselves if needed. Also, syringes are not restricted to expensive brand-specific or in-house produced products that essentially drive up operating costs. The machine instead has been designed to use a standard 5ml syringe, and standardized petri dishes and culture plates, so there are no limitations on auxiliary parts and materials.”
The FELIX BIOprinter also integrates special probing systems that allow for automatic bed levelling and “a perfect first layer.” Compared to air pressure systems, the new 3D printer also has a higher degree of material flow accuracy because of its precision motor.