As a leading manufacturer of PCB prototypes and the successfully established 3D printing service, it was quite logical for us to bring these two technologies together.
With the help of the patented LPKF LDS (laser direct structuring) procedure we are able to generate very fine circuits on three-dimensional bodies.
By using 3D printing to form the body of the circuit carrier, and our free 3D MID design software, the opportunity to use this technology for prototypes and small series has never been better.
Technology in the third dimension
3D-MID: 3D Mechatronic Integrated Devices are three-dimensional bodies with integrated circuit structures.
The metallized thermoplastic part (MID) replaces the PCB and components, which usually consists of many different materials. The 3D-MIDs are made of recyclable thermoplastics and are easier disposed of than conventional circuit boards.
Where is 3D-MID being used?
3D-MID is now found throughout the entire range of electronics. Whenever a higher integration of the electronics is required, such as when space and weight need to be saved, the 3D-MID is the ideal solution.
3D-MID offers the following benefits:
- Shorter process chains
- Savings achieved through using fewer components
- Increased functional safety
MIDs allow for more cost effective and faster production of circuits, and design changes can be achieved and implemented in less time.
Before serial production there is the prototype
Our main challenge was to produce a prototype faster and more economically, which we were not able to achieve before with the conventional design process of 3D-MIDs. The injection moulded 3D-MIDs, as used in series production require expensive injection moulding tools and long production times. Laser sintered prototypes are manufacturable at a relatively low price.
The benefits of laser sintered prototypes are:
- Faster design cycles
- Small series production at lower costs
How is a 3D-MID prototype developed?