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Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs?

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#73583

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 25 February, 2015

We're developing a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs with 3-4 Mil. traces. What concerns or questions would you have about such a system?

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#73584

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 25 February, 2015

Are we talking a professional device that takes something like the Squink/Voltare/EX1 projects on Kickstarter and delivers something that could be confidently used commerically? Would it be strictly a prototyping tool or would it also be suited to low volume manufacture and if so who would accept it as an implemented technology? How many layers? What thicknesses of insulator and traces are supported? What standards would the fabricated PCB conform too? dielectric/capacative/.. properties of your materials? Expected operating frequencies? What can it manage in terms of via holes, size, plating, capping etc. Can the assembly be reflowed using conventional processes? Will the PCB need special solders or treatments? Can the PCB be cleaned? Will the technology require special design considerations when laying out the PCB? Will it come with its own software or will it accept Gerber/ODB++ directly. Who is the target market?

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#73596

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 26 February, 2015

> We're developing a 3D printer for professional > multi-layer PCBs with 3-4 Mil. traces. What > concerns or questions would you have about such a > system?

Are you from Voltera company? I just writed a blog about 3D printing of PCB in my website: www.nod-pcba.com And I'm a pcb designer in China. NOD Electronics strives to be your PCBA manufacturer, including PCB design, fabrication and PCB assembly (PCBA)

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#73597

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 26 February, 2015

Firstly thank you for your time and consideration. Yes a professional device along the lines of the products seen on kickstarter. A system to be used by labs, R&D, product development centers etc. The difference from current offerings being resistivity (equivalent to copper) and full multi-layer support. This also makes it considerably more expensive than the more basic systems (Voltera and Voxel8 etc.). We are working on traces of 3-4 Mil. and a pitch of ca 5 Mil. With regard to vias ca. 6 Mil.diameter.Regarding frequencies there is still testing to be done. It will accept Gerber files. Further questions and ideas very very welcome.

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#73600

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 26 February, 2015

To get real conductivity in your traces you will need to remelt your copper or silver tracks. This means 850oC. The other method is plating at low temps, or etching. Epoxies like all carbon based compounds vaporize at 400oC. Next problem epoxy fibreglass laid down by a printer will need a glass matt placed inside. Otherwise it has no strength. Unless you make some undesirable substitutions I suspect physics will defeat you. I have developed a high speed process in the past. It took about 3 hours with plenty of practice from PCB design to 4 layer plated though board, green screened. It should be possible to do it with a fully automated process faster but the machine would not be cheap.

Good luck

sarason

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#73602

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 26 February, 2015

...Unless you could dispense a fine glassfibre mesh in much the same way a 3D printer extrudes plastic filament and then spray epoxy over the top. It would be remiss to 2nd guess what compounds physical chemists can come up with for such a project. Existing techniques and compounds were chosen as much for the available affordable processes as they were for their properties after all. I would guess the big question is, how many people are genuinely held back by the 3-5 days they would otherwise have to wait for an urgent PCB? When you have just laid out your PCB, there is a good chance that: You still need to work on some code to run on it. Purchasing needs to acquire the parts to place on it. You have other projects or sub assemblies that also need completing. You may even need to finalise the BOM itself.

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#73612

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 27 February, 2015

When I and some friends worked on this project we were aiming for an hour turnaround time. But as the years of development went on we upped the board specification considerably. Also the world changed under out feet as we could get commercial prototypes in our hands the next day. but without silkscreen or greenscreen. Since the object was to develop RF circuits we needed the real board. With the same characteristics as the manufactured product. Since that time software simulation has improved enormously, and the need became less urgent. Each circuit block would go through about 3 iterations to we were happy with its RF performance.

The full board would be developed all along in the background.

regards sarason

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#73620

Questions you would ask if someone said they had a 3D printer for professional multi-layer PCBs? | 1 March, 2015

Thanks Sarason, You are right that chemists and physicists now have some new tricks. Using nano-chemistry the physical properties of the materials change. The melting temperature of our nano-particle silver is below 150C. The insulator is also a nano-ink and delivers on the rigidity and exceeds the dielectric properties of FR4 by some margin. The system is designed for multi-layer boards. The turnaround for 2,4,6 layer boards is indeed a few days but for 10+ layers its a challenge to get anything in under 7+ business days. In these many layer scenarios the time adds up over a few iterations!

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