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Maximum flexibility with small equipment

The future for the laboratory: create PCB prototypes quickly, space-saving and without chemicals

14/Nov/2018
To develop printed circuit boards and produce prototypes, laboratories often have a whole arsenal of equipment at their disposal. Circuit board plotters or laser systems such as those from LPKF Laser & Electronics AG are much leaner.
 
The reduction to just a few machines does not limit the variety of applications in any way. An example: Laser systems can process innovative materials such as Pyralux® TK for high-speed digital and high-frequency applications easily and even double-sided. The laser system carries out drilling, structuring on both sides and contour cutting. The impact on the substrate itself is extremely low.

The production of printed circuit board prototypes requires machines that generate the layout and drill through holes. If users rely on the wet-chemical process, they need additional extensive equipment in addition to the actual etching plant. In order to minimize this investment, the compact multifunctional machines that do not require wet chemistry are ideal. The LPKF ProtoLaser systems or LPKF circuit board plotters of the ProtoMat family enable users to minimize their equipment pool and reduce the number of process steps. This makes prototyping fast, flexible and it can be carried out inhouse.

Especially for prototypes and small quantities, chemical-free production means a significant increase in flexibility. In particular, the production of the PCB layout is extremely fast thanks to the software-controlled process. Iteration steps can be implemented directly.

Both the ProtoLaser systems and the ProtoMats can structure and drill - as well as process double-sided PCBs made of different materials without any problems. During laser structuring, the laser beam removes material from the insulation channels. The laser is also able to realize very fine structures. It works contact-free and wear-free. Using ProtoMat for mechanical structuring, a high-frequency spindle works the conductor paths out of the plate. The tools for this can be changed manually or automatically, depending on the system used. Sensitive substrates can also be machined precisely and at high speeds.

The further advantages of the chemical-free process are plain to see: the fact that there is no need for a separate drilling machine, laminator, platesetter and chemical and rinsing baths not only reduces space requirements, but also significantly reduces maintenance and service costs. There is no need for special chemical training or special storage facilities, and the chemical-free application is environmentally friendly.

The flex material DuPont® Pyralux® TK 125712 can be processed on both sides with a UV laser.
Double-sided flexible printed circuit board
Sample of a double-sided flexible printed circuit board processed with the ProtoLaser U4, detail area 100-fold.
LPKF ProtoMat S103
The circuit board plotter works structures out of the fully coated material.
 
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