Electronic devices are getting more complex as the drive towards miniaturisation increases in every industry from automotive to medical and healthcare. This brings with it the task of finding production methods to produce small lightweight devices with the same capabilities to support the application. One technology that is meeting the challenge is Laser Direct Structuring. Altus Group, a leading distributor of capital equipment in the UK and Ireland, are helping customers to meet the design challenge thanks to LPKF’s LDS range.

With LPKF’s LDS it is possible to produce circuit layouts on geometric or free-form shapes. Designers are enabled to meet ongoing demands for integrating more functions in ever-smaller spaces on plastic components and 3D Molded Interconnect Devices (MID).

The goal of 3D MIDs is to unite electrical and mechanical functions in a single construction unit. 3D circuits are often only feasible using complex interconnection technology, or with LDS technology.

Joe Booth, CEO of Altus Group Ltd said: “LPKF are leaders in innovative laser-based solutions. Their range of cutting-edge LDS systems are helping electronics manufacturers to meet next-generation designs that would otherwise not be possible.

“The equipment allows circuit tracks to be integrated into the housing of the 3D MID as a substitute for a conventional printed circuit board. It turns simple plastic components into high-quality 3D integrated devices. As a result, weight and dimensions can be effectively reduced.

“LPKF LDS opens up new possibilities as the process inscribes the layout directly on the plastic component. With three equipment options including the LPKF Fusion3D 1100 entry-level system, to the high-performance LPKF Fusion3D 1500, there is a system to meet all production needs. These solutions offer manufacturers the design freedom and flexibility to produce the most dynamic and technically advanced electronics.”

For those looking to make prototypes and small batch work the entry-level LPKF Fusion3D 1100 is the ideal choice. This compact, cost-effective platform features a large, height-adjustable work surface and an optional vision system to assist with aligning the structuring data.

The CAD data acquisition and processing of structuring jobs is carried out by LPKF CircuitPro 3D software, which interprets the data and optimises the structuring process. This lets complex layouts to be split into individual poses to allow laser-structuring in different positions.