Innovation breakthrough in circuit carriers
MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS AG, with its 3D MID (Molded Interconnect Devices) technology, supports modularization and miniaturization of electronics. Product developers extend forms from flat conventional forms into three dimensions and enjoy the highest degree of design freedom.
the history from pcb to 3d mid
The applications of injection molded interconnect devices are enjoying a rapid increase in customer base – any “innovation” is only truly innovative once it succeeds in the market.
3D MID technology is the latest refinement and most recent high point in the history of the circuit carrier. It extends the range over conventional rigid and flexible printed circuit boards (Flex-PCB). The highlights of the PCB started in 1925 with the first patent and prototypes by Charles Ducas and later by M. César Pasolini; in the 50s the first printed circuit boards (PCB) were one-sided and double-sided construction with assembly; first in the 60s was the patent for multi-layer printed circuit boards; 1982 saw the introduction of SMT (Surface Mount Technology); and the 90s witnessed further developments regarding flexible and rigid-flexible printed circuit boards. In 2014 the global production value of the printed circuit board industry was USD $59.6 billion — an increase of 3.7% compared to the prior year.
Process steps of 3d mid
The five process steps for injection molded interconnect devices:
1) manufacturing injection mold,
2) injection molded plastic,
3) laser direct structuring (LDS),
4) chemical plating,
5) SMT assembly.
In particular, in many applications on printed circuit boards (PCB) the connecting wires can be eliminated. In an overall cost analysis the reduction of cost results from saving on assembly and materials. Costs of adding wires and making wire connections, soldering or assembling, with screws – even eliminating screws altogether. In short, the functionality of an application is optimized and massively simplified. These savings help compensate for a more expensive thermoplastic material, which is doped with laser-activated metal compound additives. Approved-LDS-Plastics The laser beam decomposes the plastic matrix in a volatile excitation on the surface and exposes the additive metal nuclei, which are very fine and rest within the microstructures of the roughened surface. A slight erosion of the plastic to the laser-machined surfaces takes place. The now exposed metal particles act as nuclei for the subsequent metallization step. In the following electroless baths copper, nickel and gold the interconnect layers are formed on the lasered part surfaces.
plastic meets electronics – 3d mid replaces flexible-pcb!
With over a decade of high production volumes, tens of millions of 3D MID antennas have been reliably connecting mobile devices. Now, the market penetration continues with various applications in the automotive industry, and in industries such as watches, medical technology, consumer and industrial goods, just to name a few.