LulzBot 3D Bioprinter

The word “groundbreaking” gets thrown around quite a bit in the 3d printing world, but the LulzBot Bio delivers truly groundbreaking performance in abundance.

Priced at just $7,500, the LulzBot Bio will be available for Pre-Order SOON! Email us at: info@3dprintlife.com to be notified when it is ready for Pre-Order.

The LulzBot Bio is a FRESH certified bioprinter that enables 3D printing with materials such as unmodified collagen, bioinks, and other soft materials for pharmaceutical/cosmetic testing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. The LulzBot Bio has already been instrumental in 3D printing the first-ever fully functional human heart tissue.

“What we've shown is that we can print pieces of the heart out of cells and collagen into parts that truly function, like a heart valve or a small beating ventricle," said Adam Feinberg, professor of biomedical engineering (BME) and materials science & engineering at Carnegie Mellon. "By using MRI data of a human heart, we were able to accurately reproduce patient-specific anatomical structure and 3D bioprint collagen and human heart cells."

The LulzBot Bio combines versatility with exceptional print quality in a compact and easy-to-use bioprinter. Certified for FRESH printing, the Bio includes everything you need to get started printing bioinks, unmodified collagen, and other soft materials. With an Open Source design and less than an hour of out-of-the-box setup time, the Bio’s capabilities can grow as fast as your innovation. FRESH is an acronym which stands for Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels.

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Bioprinted Artery tree

Bioprinted Artery tree

A Platform for Quality and Versatility 

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With a legacy of manufacturing high-quality 3D printers spanning nearly a decade, LulzBot brings its award-winning print quality to the bioprinting market with the LulzBot Bio, its first-ever Fluid Deposition Fabrication (FDF) 3D printer. Unlike its pneumatic counterparts, the Bio’s syringe pump system allows for precise stopping and retraction, preventing unintentional extrusion and stringing while printing intricate models like vasculature. Its easily-modified, Open Source design removes proprietary restrictions, providing a versatile platform for innovation that grows with ever-changing discoveries and advancements. 

“For researchers, you don’t know what materials or processes you’ll be using in 6 months, let alone one year from now,” said Grant Flaharty, Aleph Objects CEO and President. “You need hardware that can be adjusted quickly and easily, without proprietary restrictions.”

The LulzBot Bio comes with nearly everything needed to start bioprinting, including extensively tested, preconfigured material profiles in Cura LulzBot Edition.

See the full list of features, specifications, and what’s included here.

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Collagen: The Human Body’s Major Structural Protein

Collagen is prominent in biological structures, making collagen bioinks one of the most promising materials for bioprinting applications. However, it has proven extremely difficult to print with in its unmodified form. The LulzBot Bio enables printing with unmodified collagen using the FRESH 2.0 method. Developed and refined by the Regenerative Biomaterials & Therapeutics Group at Carnegie Mellon University, FRESH bioprinting uses thermoreversible support gels to hold soft materials during printing. The temporary support gel is dissolved, leaving the print intact.  

“Other bioprinting techniques often require materials to be chemically altered or mixed with other materials to make them 3D printable,” said Steven Abadie, Aleph Objects CTO. “Because of the excellent biocompatibility of collagen, being able to 3D print with it in its original form brings us that much closer to recreating models that mimic human physiology.”

"Collagen is an extremely desirable biomaterial to 3D print with because it makes up literally every single tissue in your body," said Andrew Hudson, a Carnegie Mellon University biomedical engineering Ph.D.student. "What makes it so hard to 3D print, however, is that it starts out as a fluid — so if you try to print this in air it just forms a puddle on your build platform. So we've developed a technique that prevents it from deforming."

Other currently available methods of printing with collagen involve chemical alteration or modifying other properties to make it printable, potentially compromising the quality and resolution of the print. FRESH is an acronym which stands for Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels. The FRESH bioprinting method enables the printing of biological structures in a gel-based support bath, allowing the collagen to solidify before removal. The gel is heated to ambient temperatures and then melted away, removing the printed structure without damaging it.

Expanding beyond collagen to include other soft materials like alginate, fibrin, and hyaluronic acid, this technology allows complex biological scaffolds to be printed on an unprecedented scale.

LulzBot's long-standing reputation for manufacturing high-quality FFF 3D printers is set to raise the bar for print quality in biofabrication. In testing, LulzBot's new bioprinter is already delivering unmatched resolution and fidelity using bioinks and other soft materials.

Bioprinted Tissues for Faster, Safer Innovation

Bioprinting is revolutionizing pharmaceutical development, cosmetic testing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. This technology can be used to recreate physiology to study disease, determine the effectiveness and potential side effects of new drugs in development, and provide skin tissue models for cosmetic testing. 

Bringing a new drug to market with current methods costs around $ 2.5 billion USD and can take more than a decade from start to finish. The probability of success is less than 10-15% despite promising results in early stages with animal testing, as the absence of toxicity in animals is a poor predictor of efficacy in humans. The development  of 3D bioprinting provides a more human-relevant alternative in both pharmaceutical and cosmetic testing. To date, over 40 countries worldwide have banned or restricted animal testing on cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients, which has accelerated the development of bioprinted human tissue for cosmetic development. 

bioprinted heart valve

bioprinted heart valve

bioprinted perfusion test

bioprinted perfusion test

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Publications Using FRESH

3D bioprinting of collagen to rebuild components of the human heart

3D printing of personalized thick and perfusable cardiac patches and hearts

Freeform Perfusable Microfluidics Embedded in Hydrogel Matrices

3D Printing PDMS Elastomer in a Hydrophilic Support Bath 

Three-dimensional printing of complex biological structures by FRESH


Features:

Syringe Pump Extruder

    • The syringe pump extruder design allows for precise control of material extrusion, enabling printing of high-detail objects in a wide range of materials with varying viscosities.

    • Note: The syringe pump extruder uses Hamilton Gas Tight 1000 Series Syringes (81420, 81520, and 81620) with X-Style Plunger and Luer Lock termination. The Bio will come with one Hamilton 2.5 mL Gastight Syringe Model 1002 TLL.

Ease to Use Interface

    • The Bio features a 4.5” glove-friendly touch screen and SD card slot for easy operation without the need to be tethered to a computer.

Material Options

    • The LulzBot Bio’s open materials system includes ready-to-print profiles for alginate and unmodified collagen. With a configurable syringe pump system and extrusion settings, the Bio is easily adjustable for new materials and processes.

Designed For The Lab

    • The small footprint and large build volume easily fits within laminar flow cabinets or on lab countertops. The rugged design can easily be sterilized for printing cells using isypropyl alcohol and UV lights.

Bed Heating

    • The LulzBot Bio’s variable temperature heated bed allows full control of environmental conditions during printing, ensuring the integrity of the print from start to removal.

Key Strengths:

    • Able to print unmodified collagen and other soft materials. Other bioprinting techniques often require chemical alteration or mixing of materials to enable / improve ‘printability’.

    • Hardware / software is easily configurable for new materials and processes.

    • Open material format. No proprietary materials.

    • More affordable than most market options.

    • Bigger maximum print area than most competitors. The compact design easily fits within laminar flow cabinets or tissue culture hoods.

    • LulzBot has a long standing reputation for exceptional print quality. Print quality is said to match or exceed $100k+ machines.

    • Some of the best print quality for FFF style bioprinters.

    • Improved print quality by an order of an magnitude over Fresh 1.0 (250 μm to 20 μm)

    • Syringe pump system enables printing of highly intricate structures such as blood vessels and artery trees

    • Better control of stopping / retraction which reduces oozing.

    • Pneumatic systems only have positive pressure and near zero pressure.

    • For pneumatic systems, the pressure required to extrude materials is not linear and variable based on the amount of material in the system.

    • It is speculated that some of the pneumatic systems on the market lack adequate pressure to dispense highly viscous materials.

    • Comes with 50g Sodium Alginate (Amount would cost $32,000 from competitor)

Light-based printing (LBP) Method Pros/Cons (Vs LulzBot FDF):

    • LBP requires chemical alteration of materials to make them photo crosslinkable

    • Difficult to incorporate cells

    • Can’t print multiple materials

    • LBP is able to print higher detail

Industry Uses:

    • Biotechnology

    • Bioengineering

    • Pharmaceuticals / Pharmacology

    • Cosmetic

    • Medical device

    • Life sciences

    • Education

Applications:

    • Pharmaceutical & cosmetic testing –

    • In vitro (in a test tube) testing aims to reduce failure rate (currently 90%+) of bringing drugs to market (costs ~$2.5b in 2018) by testing on bioprinted tissues in pre-clinical testing. The goal is to reduce failure when moving to phase 3 (clinical) trials (estimated 50% failure rate in clinical trials).

    • Can be used to recreate physiology to study disease.

    • Testing on kidney and liver cells are of particular importance.

    • Tissue Engineering – The practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues.

    • Long term goal of bioprinting human organs.

    • Regenerative Medicine – The process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function.

    • Education – The bio will be extremely impactful for teaching life sciences in K-12.

Bio Printable Files

https://lifesciencedb.jp/bp3d/

https://www.embodi3d.com/files/