BioPrinter Door Offset

Project Summary

Created a spacer to enable the Bio X bioprinter to utilize its full range of motion. 

Project Details

The CellLink Bio X bioprinter is used for 3D printing cell-containing media. The printer, like many others, has a vertically-moving build tray and a print head that translates in a plane. In order to protect the print medium from foreign contaminants, a door on the front of the printer is closed while the printer is in operation.

Some of the print heads sold by CellLink effectively limit the working area of the Bio X by colliding with the door of the printer before the print head reaches its limit switch in the standard Y direction. Even if the door closure sensors are overridden such that printer operation continues despite the print head's knocking the printer's door open, the sterility of the print environment cannot be assured. 

By creating a 1" spacer for re-mounting the printer's door farther from the build tray, I opened up the space required in the Y direction to allow the print head to move throughout its full range of motion. 

Moving the door forward opened up space beneath it, which I filled with the 3D printed skirt. The door did not create a sealed print chamber before the modification, nor does it after the addition of the spacer, but the gaps between the body of the printer, the skirt, and the door are small enough to significantly restrict air exchange between the sterilized print area and the surrounding environment. 

The full spacer and skirt system has seven 3D printed parts. Two compose the spacer on the hinge side of the door, two compose the spacer on the latch side of the door, and three compose the skirt. The spacer pieces are friction-fit onto the body of the Bio X and attached to each other by a sliding dovetail joint. The skirt pieces are likewise attached to each other and to the spacer pieces by sliding dovetail joints. Because of the friction and sliding fits, no tools are required for installation except those involved in unscrewing the door from its place on the Bio X and reinstalling it onto the hinge-side spacer pieces. 

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