PCB007 Magazine


Issue link: https://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/636678

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 93

26 The PCB Magazine • February 2016 mance that's required out of the PCB there are so many parameters from chemistry to print process that need to be very finely tuned. As a result we took it upon ourselves to develop the materials, printer, and software, all of which allows us to control ev- ery aspect of the pro- cess. That allows us to make the product at the end to the specifica- tions required. Matties: How long have you been in business pur- suing this? Fried: The company was founded in 2012 by a team of people who have extensive experience in the area of printed electronics and inkjet printing as a whole. It was bringing together various cutting-edge technologies in the mate- rials space, but also in the printing space and also in the software area. All of those converged around 2012. Since then we've been bringing them together into this product. Matties: Is there a specific software requirement where they bring in their Gerber files, or how does that process work? Fried: We have as a goal to make it as user friend- ly as possible. We have a print job software that receives the Gerber files, including the drill and the route layer, etc. You can then double check before you send the item for print to make sure the stack is the way you want it. You hit print and that print job is then sent over to the print- er. In that process it's actually converted into a 3D printable file, so the Gerber layers are actual- ly turned into very thin slices, which the printer then lays down one at a time, building the PCB from the bottom up. Matties: Why don't you talk about the base mate- rial that you're using and how you build up the layers. Fried: Sure. The two materials are printed simul- taneously. The dielectric material is something that we developed as almost like a liquid FR- 4. It contains silica, and it contains polymers that give the strength, the rigidity, the dielectric performance, and also the temperature perfor- mance. The end result here is a polymer that can withstand 300°C, which means you can hand solder, you can reflow solder over the printed item at the end of the print. That's a unique product that we've devel- oped which works hand-in-hand with the silver. The silver ink has to have very strong adhesion to the dielectric, and they also have to behave firmly in the same way so you don't get cracks or splitting as it's exposed to the changes in the environmental temperature. Those two materi- als are very much married to one another. That allows us to put down the dielectric, and put down the silver material in such a way that you don't have to do any drilling. There's no drilling required. You print the vias and stack the silver all the way through. Matties: That's my next question: Where are the holes? Fried: As far as the printer is concerned, com- plexity doesn't matter. There's no such thing as complexity for the printer; it's just "Where do I put ink one and where do I put ink two?" If I need a vertical stack of silver, each time the print head goes by it puts a bit of silver in that place. If it keeps doing it in the same place re- peatedly, it builds a stack. If you want to leave a through-hole you just tell the printer not to put anything there and it'll leave a through-hole. Blind or buried or open, it doesn't matter. Matties: This obviously is for prototyping, but would you expect this to go into production? Fried: We would love to see this kind of tech- nology going into the production. It would certainly change everything. It would bring manufacturing back from the Far East and put it right back in the hands of the people actually developing electronics in the U.S., Germany or Japan. But that's something that's going to be a ways down the road. Simon Fried, nano Dimension. printing pCbs...in your offiCe!

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB-Feb2016