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February 2014 • The PCB Magazine 57 After development and fixing, the film must be thoroughly washed to remove all process- ing residues. If they are allowed to remain, the image will fade and the background will turn brown after extended storage. Film drying would appear to be an uncom- plicated process, but it is really quite complex. During drying, the water is evaporated away. As this occurs, the gelatin layers, which swelled when they were first immersed in the develop- er, will compress to perhaps one-tenth their size when wet. The polyester base will also give up much of the small amount of water it absorbed during the processing steps, resulting in some changes in overall dimensions. Acknowledgment Information provided by my friend and former colleague Robert Seyfert is gratefully ac- knowledged. PCB Karl dietz is president of Karl dietz consulting, llc, offering consulting services and tutori- als in the field of circuit board & substrate fabrication tech- nology. to view past columns or to reach dietz, click here. dietz may also be reached by phone at (001) 919-870-6230. PHOTOTOOLS, PART C continues Figure 6: illustration of the fixing step. eSa and the european commission have em- barked on a project to perfect the printing of space- quality metal components. the amaZe project, ad- ditive manufacturing aiming toward Zero waste & efficient Production of high-tech metal Products, in- volves 28 industrial partners across europe. amaZe aims to put the first 3d metal printer on the international Space Station allowing astronauts to produce tools and new structures on demand. the project envisages printing entire satellites and using the technology for missions to the moon and mars. with no need of launching heavy payloads, manufacturing in space could save huge amounts of time and money. to get to that future, eSa is looking at five metal additive manufacturing processes. new materials are also a possibility. Strong, lightweight components can be built by combining elements such as tung- sten, niobium, or platinum with no waste. 3D Printing: The New Frontier?

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