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PCB007-Feb2022

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30 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2022 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Calumet Electronics has been a domestic pioneer with additive and semi-additive elec- tronics manufacturing processes. We recently asked Calumet's Todd Brassard and Mere- dith LaBeau to discuss the state of this tech- nology, which traditional processes they might replace, and some of the challenges fac- ing OEMs or PCB shops that are considering these options. Barry Matties: We're seeing more additive and semi-additive. Let's start with what these tech- nologies represent to Calumet. Todd Brassard: I'm sure some of your read- ers will go a little crazy at our use of the word "additive." In my mind, pure "additive" man- ufacturing is 3D-printed or deposition-based processes while "semi-additive," in the con- text of circuit board substrates, involves a seed layer of copper (A-SAP™) or a very thin layer of copper foil (mSAP) with plated copper traces and features. We understand the distinctions between terms additive and semi-additive; we do not use "additive" to necessarily describe a pro- cess, but rather as a proper noun to name the thing and contrast it against "subtractive" pro- cesses. For example, when working with Aver- atek's A-SAP™ technology, the seed layer is so thin that it is removed with a simple micro- etch. To me, the process is so close to being purely additive, I name it an additive process. Matties: Is it going to be a mandatory offer- ing for most fabricators in the coming years? Or is this something that will still be limited in scope? Meredith LaBeau: What is driving the need for additive manufacturing—and I use this term "additive" as Todd just described—is design size and complexity. Next generation electron- ics will be much smaller. is is easy to see just following the mobile device industry. An elec- Calumet is Bullish on Additive and Semi-Additive

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