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SMT & Inspection | November 16, 2010

LaserMicronics utilizes spray coating method for LDS

LPKF ProtoPaint LDS creates conducting paths on plastic prototypes, near-series directly from the layout software. LaserMicronics was involved in evaluating the painting process – with great results.
"The ProtoPaint LDS lacquer allows virtually any object to be turned into a three-dimensional interconnect device. Initial trials in customer applications confirm the great potential“, explains Lars Ederleh, CEO at LaserMicronics GmbH. LaserMicronics is a service provider in the micromachining of materials and handles process evaluation, sampling and made-to-order production including for LDS components.

During the first step a component is produced using a 3D prototyping method, for example by laser sintering, stereolithography or fused deposition modeling. This component is painted with the LDS dual component lacquer consisting of basecoat and hardener. Laser structuring requires a coat thickness of approx. 35 – 40 µm and drying.

The lacquer features an excellent peel strength. Just as with conventional LDS injection molded parts this is followed by laser structuring. Last is the plating process, inside the rebuilt plating line, optimized in collaboration with LaserMicronics and A.S.T. GmbH, Gehren, to meet the needs of the LDS method.

The plating results achieved with the ProtoPaint LDS method are pretty impressive. The coverage, coat thickness and printing rate are equivalent to those of series production plastics.

Lars Ederleh explains the advantages: “The ProtoPaint LDS lacquer allows near-series prototypes to be produced in one day, depending on the design complexity. This is a solid response to requests for LDS prototyping and will now be offering this service."

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