Small diameter polymer tubing is commonly used in medical device and life science industries. In many applications, the tubing is designed to mate with a micro tool at the end of the tube that will perform a specific task such as guidance, drug delivery, tissue cutting, or inspection of micro-organisms. The end of the tube must be produced to mate with the tool. Traditional methods for producing micro tubing include extrusion, molding, and cutting.
Manufacturers are designing new generations of micro tools that require the inner and outer diameters of tube endings with dimensions that cannot be produced using traditional methods. While micro milling would not normally be considered an option for producing polymers due to the softness of the material, Microlution has developed a solution that can machine polymer micro tube endings to virtually any geometry.
Based on the 363-S platform, Microlution’s micro tube milling solution integrates compressed air to increase the rigidity of the tube during machining. Metrology equipment capable of in-situ measurement of opaque plastics is added to ensure the quality and accuracy of the machining process. The solution also includes all the robotics to move the part through each step of the manufacturing cell.
The result is a groundbreaking platform that can be used to mill polymer tube endings to specific dimensions and geometries at production speeds. The Microlution micro tube milling solution can be used in clean room environments and delivers reliable, repeated micro parts made of soft plastics-parts that simply could not be made with traditional methods.