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Open Access Publications from the University of California

On the intrinsic sterility of 3D printing.

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3D printers that build objects using extruded thermoplastic are quickly becoming commonplace tools in laboratories. We demonstrate that with appropriate handling, these devices are capable of producing sterile components from a non-sterile feedstock of thermoplastic without any treatment after fabrication. The fabrication process itself results in sterilization of the material. The resulting 3D printed components are suitable for a wide variety of applications, including experiments with bacteria and cell culture.

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