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New Methods for Digital Fabrication of Printed Circuits

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The printed circuit will continue to be the dominant component of electronic devices. Although more electronic functions are being reduced to integrated chips, it is totally unrealistic to expect designers of complex circuits to be limited or constrained by chip design. However changes in requirements, particularly reduced sizes and more complex architecture, are pushing manufacturers of printed circuits to new and ever more challenging demands. Other significant factors, affecting change in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCB's), are the demands for (RoHS) restriction of hazardous substances and elimination of leaded solder for surface mounting. These restrictions will become legally binding in July 2006 in the European market and will probably have to be met internationally.

Considering how revolutionary and disruptive these factors are to established methods of PCB manufacture, it is also an opportunity to consider alternative methods to produce complex boards. Today's technology involves many complicated steps, such as generation of photo masks, its subsequent removal, electroplating. generation of electrically conductive vias or through holes, etching to remove unwanted architecture, screen printing of solder mask and its removal, plus the elimination or recycling of many hazardous chemicals. With the discovery of and evolution of better electrically conductive polymers. some manufacturers have developed methods to integrate this new technology in the design of PCB's Development of electrically conductive inks, some using the new polymers, have led to the fabrication of circuits using ink jet printing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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