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LDS vs. 2-Shot

The creation of integrated circuitry on plastic can be accomplished through several different processes. The two main processes are the double-shot molding and metallization and Laser Direct Structuring (LDS).

The creation of a double shot mold can be very expensive and once the mold is created, your circuitry pattern is set. Should you later decide to change the circuit pattern a new mold must be created. It is imperative that you prototype and set your circuit pattern prior to creating your mold.

LDS can be used as a prototyping tool for your high volume double-shot component. Parts can now be made via a fused deposition process (3D printing). Circuitry can be designed and tested prior to the creation of the mold.  This saves you both time and money.

The biggest advantage of LDS over 2-shot is the separation of the processes and therefore electrical comes in much later in the design phase.

In 2 shot molding the electrical design is tied to the mold itself. Once the mold is done you can’t change anything unless you change to a different mold.

But with LDS the standard molding of the part doesn’t effect the circuit structure. The circuit structure is added to the part later on.

With LDS you can move the design phase of the electrical to much later in the process and therefore really fine tune the part.

You can even take it a step further and mitigate problems or tolerances we see in the molding that we couldn’t anticipate at the start. So we can actually adjust the electrical design to the mechanical and compensate for unforeseen issues.

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SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

How To Select The Proper LDS Material?

Without the proper material selection from the beginning, your LDS project could easily go from a hit to a headache. There are a number of important considerations when determining the proper base material of your LDS project. Among them are:

LDS granulate

LDS granulate

  • Thermal Expansion
  • Water Absorption
  • Mechanical Characteristics
  • Solderability (including laser or supersonic welding)

A number of series materials or thermoplastics are available to produce injection-moulded MIDs for the LPKF-LDS method. These materials are suitable for a large number of different applications thanks to their broad spectrum of properties:

PA6/6T (semi-aromatic polyamide), based on Ultramid®

  • very high thermal shape stability, suitable for reflow soldering (also with lead-free solder)
  • very good mechanical properties

Thermoplastic polyester (PBT, PET and blends), based on Pocan®

  • very good mechanical and electrical properties
  • very high thermal shape stability with addition of PET

Crosslinked PBT (polybutylenterephathalate), based on Vestodur®

  • migration-resistant fire protection equipment (VO – 0.4 mm after UL94)
  • irradiation crosslinkable for high temperature resistance (all soldering processes)

LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer), based on Vectra®

  • very good flow properties
  • very good dimensional stability under thermal stress

PC/ABS (polycarbonate / acrylnitrile / butadiene / styrol)*

  • very good surface properties
  • very good mechanical properties

LDS Materials Pyramid

Everything starts with a good understanding of your project and a discussion with an LDS expert like SelectConnect Technologies.

SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

3D MIDs and Peanut Butter Cups

What can we learn about 3D MIDs from Peanut Butter Cups?

A lot.

But first lets go back to our childhood and look at the infamous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial. You know the one that shows how it all started.

Two guys, each one loves their snack of choice. One chocolate, the other peanut butter. Both have no intention of ever switching to the others snack of choice.

Then one day they round a corner from opposite sides and crash.

“Your chocolates in my peanut butter!”

“Your peanut  butters on my chocolate!”

Separate both chocolate and peanut butter are OK. But combined they’re awesome!

In the commercial it was serendipity. In real life Mr. Reese (a former Hershey employee) probably noticed something that many people took for granted and combine the two. In many cases creativity is just taking two ideas that already exist and combining them into something new.

What two things would you combine to make something radically different?

Hey, my circuits are on your plastic component! And it works!

Not long ago someone thought of combining circuits and plastic components. The result, 3  dimensional molded interconnects (3D MID), changed the way cell phone antennas are made today.

LDS Antenna for cell phone

Antenna are no longer planer. Reception isn’t dependent on your orientation to the tower.

You can get multiple antenna into smaller spaces because you have integrated antenna pattern and circuitry into an existing and previously unused space, the carrier.

You have eliminated parts making the entire system less complex and more reliable.

How could you use a 3D MID to make your product better?

Being creative is looking more closely to the combinations available to you. It’s about being fearless not necessarily being more intelligent.

After all there are a lot of intelligent people who aren’t overly creative. In fact some are down right boring.

Fearlessness however is almost always present in creative people. They lack the fear of others judging them and being laughed at if something doesn’t quite work. They keep trying. they know when they are onto something that could change the world.

Do you consider yourself fearless?

Can you see the benefits of 3D MID technology to your product?

Do you want to explore the combination of your product with our 3 dimensional molded interconnect technology?

If so, contact us today for a complimentary overview.

No pressure, no strings. And your IP is safe, we don’t compete with our customers, we make their product better.

If you found this information to be useful subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss any of the valuable information we provide.

SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

Plate PEEK, Ultem, Nylon and Acetal

New Surface Activation Technology

Allows you to plate previously impossible to plate plastics like PEEK, Ultem, Nylon and Acetal without the use of chemical or mechanical etching. This process is perfect for connectors and replaces cadmium for military specification MTL-DTL-38999.

Benefits

The benefits of plating on PEEK, Ultem, Nylon and Acetal over traditional plastics are:

  • More strength (glass/carbon reinforced)
  • High temperature capacity
  • Lower weight (50% less than aluminum)

SAT vs chemical or mechanical etch

The main differences are that and SAT part has the following characteristics:

  • High adhesion values
  • A smooth surface which retains the substrate profile
  • RoHS compliant

In order for the process to work an ionic palladium plating line is required which makes the number of companies with the ability to perform this process extremely rare.

However due to the importance of this process to the Military and Aerospace connector industry, SelectConnect Technologies has made the investment to upgrade our capabilities.

Take a look at the examples in the short video. Do the look like plastic parts to you?

Where could you use a strong lightweight connector? Let us know by leaving your application is the comments below.

If you found this information to be useful subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss any of the valuable information we provide.

SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

The 4 R’s of Selective Metallization of Plastic

When you selectively metallize circuitry on plastic, you create what is called a 3 Dimensional Molded Interconnect Device or 3D MID. There are several methods of creating 3D MID’s however the benefits can be seen across technologies. The two main technologies are Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) and the metallization of a double-shot molded component.

The 4 R’s of Selective Metallization of Plastics are:

Reduce Weight

Today’s plastics are strong enough to replace aluminum in many applications and plastics weigh half as much. Add to that the elimination of a pcb when you structure your circuitry directly onto the plastic part and your weight savings are substantial.

Reduce Size

The combination of electric and mechanical systems combine with the efficient use of all the available space in the carrier allow for substantial reductions in size.

Reduce Complexity

Your circuit paths are run directly on the molded component eliminating wires and interconnects. The need for multi-layer pcb’s is also drastically reduced.

Reduce Cost

Because the electrical and mechanical systems are integrated, assembly times can be greatly reduced.

For additional information on 3D MID’s visit SelectConnect Technologies or call us at (847) 359-1490.

SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

How Creative Are You?

How Creative are you?

Many engineers see themselves as creative. Instead of working with paints, you work with circuits, wires and boards. You take something and make it better, faster, smaller, etc. Or you create something new, something the world has never experienced.

How do you do it?

Are you born creative?

Is it part of your being?

Or is it something we all have that can be nurtured?

As an engineer, you would agree that creativity is essential in your job. New designs require a great deal of creativity. New designs almost always create a lot of buzz.

But how do you top the last success?

I may just be in how you think about it.

Watch this video from TED and then tell us how you foster your “creative genius” by leaving a comment or just go here to explore some new design techniques.

 

SelectConnect Technologies manufactures 3-dimensional molded interconnects using the LPKF-LDS process to laser scribe circuitry on injection molded components as well as selectively plates circuits integrated into components produced by the Double-Shot molding process.

As the only contract provider of LDS 3D-MID services in North America, we work on projects from early phase prototypes and scale up to high-volume production.  Contact us to learn more about our processes and technologies.www.selectconnecttech.com

info@selectconnecttech.com

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