A Smartphone-Enabled Portable Digital Light Processing 3D Printer

Wanlu Li, Mian Wang, Luis Santiago Mille, Juan Antonio Robledo Lara, Valentín Huerta, Tlalli Uribe Velázquez, Feng Cheng, Hongbin Li, Jiaxing Gong, Terry Ching, Caroline A. Murphy, Ami Lesha, Shabir Hassan, Tim B.F. Woodfield, Khoon S. Lim, Yu Shrike Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


3D printing has emerged as an enabling approach in a variety of different fields. However, the bulk volume of printing systems limits the expansion of their applications. In this study, a portable 3D Digital Light Processing (DLP) printer is built based on a smartphone-powered projector and a custom-written smartphone-operated app. Constructs with detailed surface architectures, porous features, or hollow structures, as well as sophisticated tissue analogs, are successfully printed using this platform, by utilizing commercial resins as well as a range of hydrogel-based inks, including poly(ethylene glycol)-diacrylate, gelatin methacryloyl, or allylated gelatin. Moreover, due to the portability of the unique DLP printer, medical implants can be fabricated for point-of-care usage, and cell-laden tissues can be produced in situ, achieving a new milestone for mobile-health technologies. Additionally, the all-in-one printing system described herein enables the integration of the 3D scanning smartphone app to obtain object-derived 3D digital models for subsequent printing. Along with further developments, this portable, modular, and easy-to-use smartphone-enabled DLP printer is anticipated to secure exciting opportunities for applications in resource-limited and point-of-care settings not only in biomedicine but also for home and educational purposes.

Original languageBritish English
Article number2102153
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number35
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2021


  • 3D printing
  • bioprinting
  • Digital Light Processing
  • portable devices
  • smartphone


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