Microdrop impact and spreading phenomena are explored as an interface formation process using a recently developed computational framework. The accuracy of the results obtained from this framework for the simulation of high deformation free-surface flows is confirmed by a comparison with previous numerical studies for the large amplitude oscillations of free liquid drops. Our code's ability to produce high resolution benchmark calculations for dynamic wetting flows is then demonstrated by simulating microdrop impact and spreading on surfaces of greatly differing wettability. The simulations allow one to see features of the process which go beyond the resolution available to experimental analysis. Strong interfacial effects which are observed at the microfluidic scale are then harnessed by designing surfaces of varying wettability that allow new methods of flow control to be developed. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.