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Making PCBs with laser-activation

Posted by VDX 
Making PCBs with laser-activation
May 13, 2008 02:57AM
Hi all,

maybe a simpler/DIY MID-proces ( [www.lasermicronics.com] ) is a good way for home-making PCB's and some other sophisticated parts by laser-activating and galvanic metallizing the surface?

For this you extrude a plastic (possible with ceramic too) doped with some non-conducting metall-organic particles.

By heating with an IR-laser (maybe from salvaged DVD-drives with 200 millWatts, or for higher power: i found a 8Watt-laserdiode with attaches glass-fiber for 300Euros) you crack the embedded particles, so they went conductive.

Then you put the part in a galvanic bath and pure metall grows on the activated/drawed areas, so you receive real metallic trays as needed for PCB's.

Another point is the 3D-possibility of the process - you can activate a complex 3dimensional surface as easy as a plain sheet, so it's no problem to place conducting tracks or wider areas on curved or uneven surfaces.

With repeating this process with fabbing, activating and galvano-enhancing you can make traces, through-vias or multilayer-PCB's with a reprap and attached laserdiode-head ...

Re: Making PCBs with laser-activation
May 19, 2008 11:02AM
Well this seem very promising compared to the other possibilities that have come up. Mounting a laser tool head seems a light easier to mount than a weighty drill/dremel tool head. But we shall see how it turns out.
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