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Blog Posts (41)
- Company Arginta visits Micromolds
Arginta Group originates from the Lithuanian capital private limited company Arginta with the lifetime dating back to 1991. Promising ideas during over 20 years have grown into a big market leader and a very profitable company. The territory of the company has expanded as well: until 2007 Arginta occupied 1 500 m2 premises, whereas in 2012 Arginta Group already had 12 600 m2 industrial-administration premises, used by the companies of the Group and leased to the companies from the outside. Manufacturing activities have expanded from metal processing to equipment design and production. One of the fundamental reasons of successful activities is the attempt to continually develop. The Group focuses on quality production and top-level services within equipment design and production, water management, as well as renewable energy. We had an opportunity to enlighten our colleagues engineers and salesmen about the possibilities of a micromolding technology and how advanced plastic molding is in Lithuania. Many questions and long discussion of like-minded people helps to better understand our strengths and limitations which can be all exchanged under close collaboration of the cluster.
- Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK) meets Micromolds
Laser & Engineering technologies cluster LITEK was established in 2010 but cooperation between science and SMEs continues for more than 20 years already. It all started when manufacturers of laser systems in cooperation with scientific institutions began to develop unique products in the field of photonics. Companies of LITEK together with scientific institutions understood that combining different areas of knowledge, close cooperation, interdisciplinary (in photonics and engineering fields) sharing ideas and convenient business environment are one of the main reasons for more efficient business operations and growing results. That’s how companies and scientific institutions got together in a cluster – LITEK. Being a part of the cluster allows its members not to compete with each other but by combining resources and knowledge direct all the energy for the competition in international markets and easier enter new ones. We had an opportunity to spread the word about plastic micro injection molding for the Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK) member companies. Our CEO Dominykas Turčinskas presented our capabilities and explained the main differences of micro injection molding and traditional molding.
- Micro Milling Microfluidic Chips
Creating microfluidic chips is a difficult and precise process. Manufacturers have several options available for creating small channels, holes, and V-grooves. While some use chip making techniques like embossing, photolithography, or micro 3D printing for these purposes, micro milling microfluidic chips is still the preferred option for prototyping, though not for serial production. However, micro milling is useful for much more than making chips. Manufacturers can also use it for making the tools used in the injection molding process. However, the main use of micro milling is that it allows the rapid creation of chips for prototyping. This article explains what micro milling is and the issues manufacturers must consider when using this technique. What Is Micro Milling? Micro milling is a subtractive manufacturing process that leverages cutting tools to remove material from a part. Manufacturers create a 3D model of the intended part, such as a chip, using computer-aided design (CAD) software. With the design in place, the micro milling process uses rotating cutting tools to remove material until the part matches the design. With micro milling, manufacturers can narrow features down to micron-level making it a flexible process ideal for creating micro components that have complex shapes. The process’s speed and adaptability make it ideal for rapid prototyping of microfluidic chips. The Benefits of Micro Milling Microfluidic Chips There are several advantages to micro milling microfluidic chips: · The process requires no complex tooling, which saves enormous amounts of time for manufacturers. As a result, micro milling is the ideal option for rapid chip prototyping, allowing manufacturers to test their designs before beginning a full production run. · Having the ability to cut various types of materials using micro milling make it a viable option for quickly testing various materials for microfluidic devices. · Micro milling allows for the fabrication of multi-height features, which is difficult to achieve with photo-lithography. The Limitations of Micro Milling Though micro milling has many applications, there are some limitations manufacturers must consider before using the process. Aspect Ratio Endmills and drills are rarely good options when the manufacturer needs to create small features that have high aspect ratios. For example, 200µm diameter endmills typically achieve a top aspect ratio of 3:1, which may be not enough for the part. Furthermore, increasing the diameter of an endmill leads to higher aspect ratios being required due to the tool becoming more rigid. As such, manufacturers may find it more difficult to fabricate high-aspect ratio features, such as narrow and deep trenches, with micro milling. Run-Out Run out is a discrepancy of the cutting path and tool diameter at a certain spot along the outer edge of the cut. When tool rotates it is crucial that each flute would hit at the exact same point along the cutting path. In the research paper “A Study of Surface Roughness in the Micro-End-Milling Process,” researchers from UC Berkely examined the effects of run-out on the micro milling process. They discovered that run-out plays a significant role in the surface quality achieved when micro milling parts. Using 6061 aluminum, they found that the dominant cutting marks on the material had a period of twice the chip load. This means that one cutting edge makes a deeper cut than the other, leading to an uneven cut. Still, the study concluded that micro milling can produce a high surface quality if the manufacturer accounts for run out. Surface Roughness and Resolution Surface roughness is the measurement of the smoothness of a surface’s profile. It’s typically calculated by measuring microscopic variations from the peak and valley of the surface. In milling, surface roughness influences how a part interacts with its surrounding environment. Visible machining lines, which micro milling may produce, can affect how a microfluidic chip interacts with the parts that surround and support it. Burr Formation Burrs come into play in both polymer and metal manufacturing. The term refers to the formation of rough ridges or edges on a piece. The presence of burrs reduces part safety, creates additional stress during part operation, and makes the part more susceptible to corrosion. Unfortunately, micro milling is one of several machining processes that create burrs. As such, manufacturers must use a micro-deburring technique when micro milling microfluidic chips. Examples of this include the following: · Hand deburring involves special technicians removing burrs while examining the part under a high-resolution microscope. · Waterjet deburring uses highly focused and pressurized water streams to remove burrs. · Thermal deburring burns off the burrs using an explosive gas mixture to create thermal energy. · Electromechanical deburring combines a salt solution with electricity to dissolve burrs without affecting the surrounding material. Internal Radius In micro milling, any machinery a manufacturer uses has limitations in terms of it’s the angles, curves, and contours it can achieve. These machines typically have a corner radius, which is a term that refers to the internal radius of the corners of the machined part. Due to rotational nature of the milling the tools are round and thus they have some radius which is unavoidable. This means that while milling internal pockets the corners will be with radiuses which will be equal half the diameter of the tool. However, this is not valid for outer corners. Alternatives to Micro Milling Micro milling isn’t the only option available to manufacturers when creating microfluidic chips. Laser Machining/Ablation Laser machining uses laser pulses to create structures and cut holes. It works in a similarly subtractive way to micro milling. However, in this case, the process involves using laser light to vaporize unwanted material. This creates a clean process and allows for greater flexibility in designs. On the other hand, the process is relatively slow and thus very expensive. On average 1 cubic centimeter can be ablated in one full day for the metal material. Photolithography Photolithography involves coating the material with a photoresist layer before exposing it to a precise pattern of intense ultraviolet light. This process allows for the creation of extremely small features. However, it’s only suitable when used with flat substrates. Plus, the process is far more expensive than micro milling and even laser ablation. Selective Laser Etching This technique allows the manufacturing of complex features by laser affected and later etched out material, which often makes it useful when creating biomedical devices. Selective laser etching also offers a short time-to-market and offers few constraints when designing part geometry. Consider Micro Milling for Microfluidic Chips Micro milling microfluidic chips is an effective technique because micro milling offers short lead times and excellent flexibility. This combination allows for the rapid creation of complex geometries, making it ideal for prototyping and production processes that require fast turnarounds.
Other Pages (31)
- ABOUT US | Micromolding
Our short story Micromolds℠ is part of a Lithuanian based Ltd. company "UAB Technoprojektai", founded in 2014 by our current CEO Jonas Tomkus who had previously been working as a senior mechanical engineer in the injection moulding field. His high expertise in engineering and passion to create, gathered like-minded engineers and formed a talented team. As a result, Technoprojektai has firmly established its name nationwide in micro moulding industry and thus has succesfully entered the global market. Did you see this wall of aluminum molds below? Piece by piece we brick this wall as we grow with our clientele. We are still halfway through but it already proves our proficiency. Jonas Tomkus , Founder of the company Our Environment Micromolds℠ was selected as an innovative manufacturing spin-off company as a DIH (Digital Innovation Hub) member of Vilnius city. DIH is based in the building of Gamybos Inovacijų Slėnis (Manufacturing Innovation Valley) where all of the innovative manufacturing processes take place including Micromolding. 15 like-minded manufacturing companies from robotics to machining under one roof brings enormous value, resilience and capacity to us and this is the reason we are so proud of being DIH members. Our Network Micromolds℠ is also a member of Inovatyvios Gamybos Klasteris (Cluster of Manufacturing Innovators).The cluster was established in 2020 with its main goal to unite companies of different sizes, the academic community, associations and other organizations into a club of leaders in manufacturing innovation. The cluster is a participant in the INOLINK project of the Agency for science innovation and technology. The cluster coordinator is UAB "Pažangios inovacijos". Our Ecosystem News about us Dec 7, 2022 1 min News Company Arginta visits Micromolds Dec 7, 2022 1 min News Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK) meets Micromolds Nov 24, 2022 1 min News Clusterisation in action Nov 11, 2022 0 min News Delegation from Finland Our scope Mircromolds℠ divides its activities in main 4 activities: Small parts molding Micromolding Medical injection molding Overmolding/insert molding Our values Honesty we declare the real lead times Productivity we love engineering-like straight to the point communication Social Responsibility we work with non-profit projects and firmly plan to continue doing so in the future Growth we continuously invest time and capital to our team's expertise and personal development
- News | Micromolding
News Read about our latest activity across manufacturing industries and clusters ASK A QUESTION Dec 7, 2022 1 min Company Arginta visits Micromolds Arginta Group originates from the Lithuanian capital private limited company Arginta with the lifetime dating back to 1991. Promising... 0 comments Dec 7, 2022 1 min Laser & Engineering technologies cluster (LITEK) meets Micromolds Laser & Engineering technologies cluster LITEK was established in 2010 but cooperation between science and SMEs continues for more than... 0 comments Nov 24, 2022 1 min Clusterisation in action This week we had guests of Directors of the Alliance of Lithuanian Clusters. On the meeting agenda was Lithuanian clusters future and... 0 comments Nov 11, 2022 0 min Delegation from Finland 0 comments Aug 18, 2022 2 min Micromolds becomes member of Cluster of Manufacturing Innovators (CoMI) During the meeting cluster members discussed on the cluster future strategy 2022-2024. The meeting agenda: goal of the cluster, value... 0 comments