4-layer PCBs in one day

Many electronics developers are under immense time pressure when it comes to PCB prototyping. Missing electronic components and urgent redesigns put a strain on the developers. This practice report shows how complex PCB multilayers are created in-house in one day.

The developers at LPKF are also aware of the challenge: the electronics laboratory is on duty around the clock. Here the developers show how they produce the 4-layer PCB for a precise 4-point measurement unit with a set of operational amplifiers and voltage regulators in-house in just one day.

The most important system in this example is the new LPKF ProtoLaser H4. As a table-top system, the integrated laser also handles complex surface structuring, while the milling and drilling tools are responsible for breakthroughs, plated-through holes and contour milling. In the first step, the surfaces of the inner and outer layers are structured with the laser. Fitting holes on all levels ensure that the individual layers fit on top of each other with register accuracy. Such registration marks also ensure that all positions are maintained exactly when inserted into the package for pressing.

The new LPKF MultiPress S4 performs the pressing largely independently: time and temperature-controlled pressing profiles and the use of the new vacuum function ensure a reliable pressing process.

Then the tools of the LPKF ProtoLaser H4 are used again: they drill the holes for the required through-plating, followed by the galvanic through-plating in the LPKF Contac S4. All necessary baths from cleaning to galvanic copper plating are integrated in this compact table system. Finally – in the last step – the final structuring of the outer layers begins.

This is where the practical test ends, not without pointing out that efficient prototyping processes also exist for further steps such as solder resist or the labeling of the printed circuit board. User intervention is reduced to a minimum and powerful system software guides the user through the process.

The entire report can be downloaded from the LPKF knowledge-center.