LDS 3D-MID Tech Data
An LDS 3D-MID is constructed with a single shot mold, scribed with a laser pattern, and metalized with electroless chemistry.
So here are the facts:
Lines & Spaces:
It is not recommended to use less than .008″ lines and spaces for your circuits and can be as wide as several hundred micro-inches.
Common plating thicknesses are 300-400 micro-inches of copper, 100-150 micro-inches of nickel, and 8 micro-inches of immersion gold. While our MicroLine laser is capable of activating a pattern of 4×4″ some of the new Fusion lasers can activate a pattern up to 14″ in length.
Height is a concern with the MicroLine laser machine and is limited to 2″ because we are concerned with focal point whereas taller parts can be lased with a Fusion machine. We develop a fixture and identify fiducial with for every job to help the laser locate the subject area with accuracy.
Some of our jobs need multiple fixtures depending on the shape and complexity. Lasing is very fast. Generally it takes longer to place the parts in fixtures and locate the fiducials than actual lasing time.
We can adjust the laser intensity for power and speed. This needs to be done as different plastics have a range of melt temperatures.
Our goal with lasing is to create a pattern without plastic splatter or burning of the material. The better the lasing job the more likely the plating will contour the pattern precisely.
A 2-shot 3D-MID is constructed with a 2-shot molding process just as it sounds. The material selection and mold process are critical to the success for this technique. 2-shot molded traces are usually wider than Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) traces and should be a minimum of 20 micro-inches of width.
The plating method for 2-shot molding is usually bulk (barrel) but can be rack depending on the application.
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