At the beginning of 2016, many people were writing about the end of Moore's Law, anticipating that the performance of computer chips would no longer be doubling every two years. The reason for this is that the structures on the processors themselves are already within a few nanometers of what is possible. Further reductions are almost impossible from a technical point of view. In order to continue improving performance, manufacturers are working on the architecture, which stacks multiple structural layers on top of one another. A similar approach has already been established within the field of circuit carriers. The German firm of Beta LAYOUT GmbH has successfully harnessed EOS technology to manufacture and test the prototypes for these innovative carriers.
Thanks to its many advantages, additive manufacturing technology offers high added value for a broad range of market participants. Research and development profits through our services, which, in turn, has a positive impact on our business model. This enables us to offer the benefits of advanced technology to a large number of users.
There is no technology better suited to the demands of multi-layer architecture than additive manufacturing. This is because it uses a laser to build up a component, layer by layer. This is why Beta LAYOUT relies on the technology and uses plastic parts manufactured by 3D printing. The innovation takes place after the printing process itself; once they've been made, the models are coated with a special finish that is furnished with an additive. The subsequent so-called 'laser direct structuring' (LDS) generates layouts, which can be turned into conductor tracks by activating the finish.
The laser triggers a physical-chemical reaction that creates metallic spores while simultaneously roughening the surface. After laser direct structuring, the models are placed in a copper bath free of electric current. There, copper particles are deposited on the previously activated areas to create conductor tracks. After copper coating, the conductor tracks can undergo further copper plating through galvanization, or be directly furnished with a surface finish. After this, Beta LAYOUT then adds the individual components to the unit in the company's internal assembly department. The finished pieces serve as initial prototypes and models, allowing function testing and a check of design layouts.
"We offer manufacturing of 3D-MID (mechatronic integrated devices) as prototypes for diverse companies," explains Manuel Martin, Product Manager 3D-MID at Beta LAYOUT GmbH. "Working with EOS' FORMIGA P 110, we are in a position to deliver high-quality products to our customers fast. What's particularly practical in all this is that we are even able to deal with orders of 3D models via websites and online shops. Additive manufacturing has enabled us to successfully expand our business model."