April 4, 2022
With electronic devices gaining complexity as miniaturization increases in every industry from automotive to medical and healthcare, there appears to be an increasng need to find production methods to produce small lightweight devices with the same capabilities to support the application. One technology emerging is laser direct structuring (LDS). Altus Group, distributor of capital equipment in the UK and Ireland, is helping meet the design challenge thanks to LPKF’s LDS range. (LPKF, a laser specialist company, partners with Altus.)
With LPKF’s LDS it is possible to produce circuit layouts on geometric or free-form shapes. Designers can meet ongoing demands for integrating more functions in smaller spaces on plastic components and 3D Molded Interconnect Devices (MID).
The goal of 3D MIDs is to unite electrical and mechanical functions in a single construction unit. 3D circuits are often only feasible using complex interconnection technology, or with LDS technology.
“LPKF are leaders in innovative laser-based solutions,” says Joe Booth, CEO of Altus Group Ltd. “Their range of cutting-edge LDS systems are helping electronics manufacturers to meet next-generation designs that would otherwise not be possible.
“The equipment allows circuit tracks to be integrated into the housing of the 3D MID as a substitute for a conventional printed circuit board,” Booth says. “It turns simple plastic components into high-quality 3D integrated devices. As a result, weight and dimensions can be effectively reduced.
The process inscribes the layout directly on the plastic component, according to Booth. There are three equipment options including the LPKF Fusion3D 1100 entry-level system and the high-performance LPKF Fusion3D 1500.
The compact, cost-effective platform features a large, height-adjustable work surface and an optional vision system to assist with aligning structuring data.
CAD data acquisition and processing of structuring jobs is carried out by LPKF CircuitPro 3D software, which interprets the data and optimizes the structuring process. This lets complex layouts to be split into individual poses to allow laser structuring in different positions.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.