From a simple plastic clip to a smartphone antenna: The LPKF LDS process leads to new product designs. Conductor tracks grow on a plastic component and it becomes a 3D circuit carrier. The LDS process opens up new, economical forms of production - from individual components to mass production.
Because more and more functions are accommodated in ever smaller spaces, components that were previously used purely mechanically also have to assume electronic functions: Plastic clips, frame elements or housing parts are promising examples. These three-dimensional circuit carriers are based on injection molded parts. They are referred to as molded interconnect devices (MIDs).
Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) has achieved a large market share among MID manufacturing processes. A big part of the smartphones today have an LDS component. Other markets are the automotive industry, medical technology and the consumer sector.
The LPKF Fusion3D 1100 represents a cost-effective and flexible entry into this growing technology.
The LDS process
For laser direct structuring, a component is manufactured using a single-component injection molding process from a plastic that is provided with an additive. All major manufacturers offer LDS plastics. The specially developed coating LPKF ProtoPaint LDS also contains LDS additives and lends these properties to conventional plastic components.
The laser structures the surface, roughens it and activates the additive. True three-dimensionality is achieved by tracking the laser focus and rotating the components in the processing volume.
Copper ions are first deposited on the activated structures in an electroless metallization process. Further baths build up additional nickel or gold if required.
The LPKF Fusion3D 1100 laser scriber lowers the entry barrier into the 3D circuit carrier market. It is suitable for the production of small series or prototyping in the industrial sector without having to take high-volume systems out of production.
The system is equipped with rollers and can be moved easily. LPKF combines tried and tested system technology with a compact design suitable for use in laboratories. The LPKF Fusion3D 1100 has a large, height-adjustable work surface that can be equipped with the customer's own holding devices. A pilot laser helps to set up the structuring data.
The LPKF Fusion3D 1100 uses the same laser processing unit as all Fusion3D production systems. The CAM software, production parameters and processing fields are identical. The parameters determined with the Fusion3D 1100 can be transferred directly to the production system.
LPKF Fusion3D 1100 for 3D prototyping
The large work surface, which can be adjusted in the Z axis, is ideally suited for prototyping, but small series can also be produced with it. The Fusion3D 1100 can be equipped with customer-specific workpiece holders for the infeed of the parts to be lasered.
Grows with the requirements
The Fusion3D 1100 comes standard with an automation interface. This allows the component handling to be automated - for example with a turning unit. The Fusion3D 1100 can also be converted to a Fusion3D 1000 for advanced automation applications.
The laser systems portfolio for LDS technology
Especially suitable for large components: While one part is processed with the laser, the second part moves into position. This almost completely eliminates non-productive time.
Equipped with a rotary indexing table, small, medium and large series of 3D circuit carriers can be produced particularly economically.