Designing Cost-Effective, Open-Source, Multi-Head Bioprinters via Conversion of Hobby-Grade 3D Printers Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractOver the past decade, additive manufacturing has resulted in significant advances towards fabricating anatomic-size, patient-specific scaffolds for tissue models and regenerative medicine. This can be attributed to the development of advanced bioinks capable of precise deposition of cells and biomaterials. The combination of additive manufacturing with advanced bioinks is enabling researchers to fabricate intricate tissue scaffolds that recreate the complex spatial distributions of cells and bioactive cues found in the human body. However, the expansion of this promising technique has been hampered by the high cost of commercially available bioprinters and proprietary software. In contrast, conventional 3D printing has become increasingly popular with home hobbyists and caused an explosion of both low-cost thermoplastic 3D printers and open source software to control the printer. In this work, we bring these benefits into the field of bioprinting by converting widely available and cost-effective 3D printers into fully functional, open source, and customizable multi-head bioprinters. We demonstrate the practicality of this approach by designing bioprinters customized with multiple extruders, automatic bed leveling, and temperature controls for approximately $400. These bioprinters were then used for in vitro and ex vivo bioprinting to demonstrate their utility for tissue engineering.

altmetric score

  • 3.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Chimene, D., Deo, K. A., Thomas, J., & Gaharwar, A. K.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Chimene, David||Deo, Kaivalya A||Thomas, Jeremy||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • March 2022