Microfab Limited Develops New Laboratory Device

Experts from the Department of Engineering helped laboratory device business Microfab Limited develop prototypes and proof of concept for a low pressure pump system and micro fluid incubator. 

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Microfab Limited was created in 2013 to investigate the use of 3D printing to create inexpensive, portable laboratory devices. 

The challenge

Additive manufacturing, or ‘3D printing,’ allows increased geometric freedom and is particularly applicable to high-value, low-volume products, where the ability to customise is important. The company wanted to develop a prototype medical fluidic device and needed assistance.

The solution

Dr Allan Rennie, Engineering Department, helped the company apply for IAA funding to pay for an internship, materials, and specialist equipment to develop the prototype.


Microfab Limited successfully applied for £5000 of seed funding from Lancaster University’s Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to develop the prototype. The IAA is £600,000 funding from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council to finance range of activities designed to foster greater collaboration with industry and bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace. 


Nathan Burley, Managing Director, Microfab Limited explained, “The IAA allowed us to take on an intern to research different 3D printing techniques, and develop prototypes and proof of concept for a low pressure pump system and micro fluid incubator which we can now go to industry with.”


  • New proof of concept to market
  • Extra skills through internship
  • Use of 3D printing facilities
  • Support and guidance on product development from experienced Department of Engineering staff