Micro-robotic deposition guidelines by a design of experiments approach to maximize fabrication reliability for the bone scaffold application

David J. Hoelzle, Andrew G. Alleyne, Amy J. Wagoner Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This work aims to facilitate the transition of micro-robotic deposition (μRD) technology from the research bench to a mass manufacturing environment. The bone scaffolding application is targeted; however, the evaluation process developed is applicable to multiple colloidal material systems, length scales, and structure architectures. A design of experiments (DoE) approach is used to develop statistical correlations between three manufacturing treatments (material calcination time, nozzle size, and deposition speed) and defined reliability metrics. All three selected treatments have a significant effect on structure quality. A longer material calcination time improves the deposition of internal features. Logically, a larger nozzle size decreases structural defects. However, an unexpected result is revealed by this study. Higher deposition speeds are shown to either significantly improve or have no effect on structure quality, permitting a decrease in manufacturing time without adverse consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-912
Number of pages16
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Adam Martinsek for statistics consultation, Ranjeet Rao for his help with rheometry, Danchin Chen for his work with XRD, and Amanda Hilldore for her work with Micro-CT. Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the Beckman Institute, Center for Cement Composite Materials, Colloidal Assembly Group, and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory Center for Microanalysis of Materials for the use of their characterization facilities. This work was supported by the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Nano-CEMMS Center NSF Award Number DMI-03238162, NSF Award Number DMI-0140466, and the Critical Research Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.


  • Ceramic processing
  • Micro-robotic deposition
  • Process optimization
  • Tissue engineering


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