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Design007-Jan2022

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48 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Researchers at Brigham Young University have demonstrated the ability to create microfluidic lab- on-a-chip devices with channels and valves smaller than ever before. Using a new 3D printing tech- nique, the team has created chips with valves that are only 15 microns in size. In a new paper published in Nature Communica- tions, BYU engineering professor Greg Nordin and an interdisciplinary team of students and profes- sors detail a generalized 3D printing process that enables the fabrication of much higher resolution 3D components without increasing the resolution of the 3D printer. Currently, the process to create these devices is time consuming and expensive. Due to the precision needed, new prototypes are typically created and tested in a cleanroom—a designated lab environment free from dust and other contaminants. Not only • Using a PDN analyzer simulation tool can help you spot areas in the PCB where a current is excessively high. Checking High-Voltage PCB Design Rules in PCB Layout High-voltage PCB design rules aren't there to constrain your creativity but to ensure your board is safe and will function when it is first started up. As you create your high voltage PCB layout, it needs to be checked against standard design tools to ensure safety and functionality. In modern PCB design tools such as Altium Designer, designers can encode all the impor- tant high voltage design requirements you need as rules and constraints. e layout fea- tures are built on top of an online DRC engine, which checks your layout against design rules as you create it. is helps you catch and pre- vent errors early in the design process, and it helps prevent the extent of any redesigns that might be required for safety. Remember that high-voltage PCBs are sub- ject to certain safety and reliability concerns that you won't find in most other boards. If your fabrication house specializes in high-volt- age PCBs and keeps materials in stock, they can likely recommend a material set, as well as a standard stackup you might use for certain voltage ranges and frequencies. DESIGN007 Editor's note: This article originally ap- peared as a blog post "Industry Standards on High Voltage PCB Design" on Altium.com, where more content written by Peterson can be accessed. Zachariah Peterson is the owner of Northwest Engineering Solutions in Portland, Oregon. He has an extensive technical background in academia and industry, and currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. does the complicated and expensive nature of this process make it difficult to manufacture and distrib- ute the lab-on-a-chip technology on a large scale, but it also puts major limitations on the size and type of microfluidic devices that can be made. To overcome these obstacles, Nordin and his team turned to 3D printing methods back in 2017. In the latest publication, the group, including several undergraduates, innovated the way that printed lay- ers on the chip are stacked. Instead of printing all the layers uniform, a technique typically seen in tra- ditional methods of 3D printing, they changed the thickness, order, and number of layers stacked. These small changes resulted in dramatic advan- tages that now allow for the chip to be manufactured at a fraction of the cost, and at a much smaller scale than before. (Source: Brigham Young University) BYU Researchers Can 3D Print Microfluidic Devices With Components Smaller Than Ever Before

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