What is Flow Circuits?

Flow Circuits is a design platform for fluidic systems. It enables engineers to design, simulate and visualize simple or complex fluidic systems before they are built.

What is a fluidic system?

A fluidic system is any network of fluid features connected through fluid channels to facilitate a useful process.

Examples of fluid features include:

  • Pumps (Syringe Pumps, Peristaltic Pumps, Pressure/Vacuum Pumps)
  • Valves (Pinch Valves, Volcano Valves, Check Valves, etc.)
  • Chambers (Input, Output, Mixing, Heating, etc.)
  • Filters
  • Fluid Sensors (Optical, Ultrasonic)
  • Pressure Sensors
  • Optics
  • Flow Cells/Electronics Integration
  • Magnets
  • Heaters
  • Custom Microfluidics

Can Flow Circuits be used to design durable instruments?

Yes. Flow Circuits is a fluidic system design tool and is equally applicable to consumable devices and instruments.

Is Flow Circuits a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) tool?

No. Flow Circuits only applies high-level flow resistance equations in its simulations. We believe that engineers have access to excellent CFD tools, but have nothing to design their circuit and logic at a high-level. This is where Flow Circuits transforms fluidics design.

What assumptions does Flow Circuits make?

  • Small Reynolds number, i.e. laminar flow
  • Steady flow along the channel
  • No adjacent fluid mixing in channels
  • Negligible gravity
  • Incompressible fluids (including air. we are working on applying Ideal Gas Law to account for air compliance)
  • No capillary action. (We are also working on implementing capillary forces in Flow Circuits.)

How do I know that the simulation is accurate?

Flow Circuits is continuously tested for quality. However as it is not a complete CFD/simulation tool, we do not guarantee that its results will reflect physical reality.

Can I model ___

  • Blister Packs?

    Yes, a chamber feature can hold fluid from any source, either loaded externally or internally stored in a blister pack or other reagent storage solution.
  • IV Bags?

    Yes, a collapsible bag can be modeled as a chamber and a vent.
  • Rotary/Selector Valves?

    Rotary valves are not yet natively supported. However, rotary valves can be modeled with a tree of channels with single valves on each branch. The designer should ensure that only one output valve is open at a time to accurately model a selector valve.
  • Volume Metering?

    You can use Flow Circuits to meter fluid volumes using a few different strategies. The most common is using a sensor air-knife strategy. This involves a sensor that triggers a switch between the fluid channel and an air channel, such that the volume between the sensor and the "air knife" channel becomes the volume of the fluid slug.
  • Heaters?

    Flow Circuits does not yet natively support heaters as a useful component in a simulation. However, it is common to use the "custom feature" to represent a heater component for the purposes of visualization and design.

Can I export my designs?

Flow Circuits does not yet have a native export function, however, if you contact us we can provide a DXF file of your design to get you started with a CAD import. Native exports and automated CAD modeling are both part of our roadmap.

Can Flow Circuits help with my product development?

Yes! In addition to offering the Flow Circuits design platform, we offer design services to help bring your device to market. We are experts in fluidic consumable and instrument development, and our software platform gives us a streamlined workflow to get your product to market at a blazing speed. Contact Us to discuss your project's requirements.