LPKF ProtoPaint LDS
Spray Process for Laser Direct Structuring
An innovative varnish was introduced recently, to usher in the use of prototyping for three-dimensional circuit boards: Employing "LPKF ProtoPaint LDS", circuits are generated on plastics prototypes – close to production and right from the layout program. One of the main companies to evaluate the varnishing process was LaserMicronics GmbH in Garbsen, Germany. Being a service provider in the area of micro material processing, the enterprise assumes process evaluation, sampling and contract manufacturing for LDS components too. Initially, a component is produced by e.g. laser sintering, stereolithography, or fused deposition modeling (FDM) in a 3-D prototyping process.
The two-component LDS varnish (LDS: laser direct structuring) consisting of basic varnish and hardener is then applied to the component. Laser structuring calls for approx. 35 to 40 µm layer thickness, and prior drying of the applied varnish. Laser structuring is then performed just like is done with conventional LDS injection molded components. Final metallization is then carried out in the newly constructed metallization line, optimized by LaserMicronics and A.S.T. GmbH in Gehlen, Germany, to meet the particular requirements of the LDS process. The service provider states that metallization results are quite impressive: degree of coverage, layer thickness, and writing speed correspond to the values of serial plastics.
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