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30 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 The JETx-SMP printer produces solder mask layers with the following specifications. • Line/space: down to 75/75 μm • Edge roughness: 20 μm • Solder mask openings: down to 100 μm in diameter • >10 μm solder mask thickness on copper • Layer thickness: 30–80 μm, can be varied over the board to reduce material consumption • Alignment accuracy: <2 μm using automated fiducial alignment At this moment a number of green and black solder mask materials are either commercially available, or close to commercial launch. Conclusion Recent advancements in inkjet equipment technology are definitely confirming the trend towards digital PCB manufacturing. Where leg- end printing is already widely accepted, the in- dustry has already familiarized itself with digi- tal manufacturing and acknowledged its merits, direct digital solder mask printing is certainly going to be the next all-digital process step in modern PCB manufacturing. PCB Wouter Brok is manager of Innovation with Meyer Burger. Klaus Ruhmer is head of Micro/Nano Systems Sales with Meyer Burger. Henk Goossens is manager of Marketing and Business Development with Meyer Burger. INDUSTRY 4.0—INKJET TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WORLD OF PCB MANUFACTURING Figure 8: Cross-cut of IC pad section of a PCB with printed solder dams. The spacing between the copper pads is 5 mils. Stretchable electronics may soon be used to power electronic gadgets, the onboard systems of vehicles, medical devices and other products. And a 3D-printing-like approach to manufacturing may help make stretchable electronics more preva- lent, say researchers at Missouri Uni- versity of Science and Technology. New bendable electronic devices like the one pictured here could become more common in the future. Writing in the January 2017 edition of the jour- nal Micromachines, Missouri S&T researchers assess the current state of the emerging field of stretchable electronics, focusing on a type of conductor that can be built on or set into the surface of a polymer known as elastomer. These conductors could one day replace the rigid, brittle circuit board that powers many of today's electronic devices, serving as wearable heart or brain sensors that adhere to the skin to measure activity. Additive Manufacturing: A New Twist for Stretchable Electronics?

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