The multi-material CLAD process is designed especially for electronics applications.
UK-based additive manufacturing solutions startup ioTech recently unveiled its new Continuous Laser Assisted Deposition (CLAD) 3D printing technology designed for electronics applications.
The CLAD process features an innovative multi-material 3D printing method that allows users to process various flowable industry-certified materials at more efficient speeds. Manufacturers can now control the material deposition of every single drop while leveraging the system’s high-speed production capabilities. The technology is expected to deliver a wide array of commercial solutions for mass manufacturing applications in the electronics additive manufacturing industry such as semiconductor packaging and printed circuit boards (PCBs).
CLAD is capable of processing up to six flowable materials simultaneously. The process begins with material micro-coating where the system will coat a foil with the selected feedstock material. A pulse laser is then used to jet the material from the foil onto the substrate. Both coating and jetting feature resolutions of up to 20 microns and continuous closed-loop monitoring. After these steps, the 3D-printed part undergoes multifunctional inline post-processing to prepare it for end use. This includes UV and thermal curing as well as laser sintering and ablation, which allows for faster production of end-use parts within one production step.
According to ioTech, the CLAD process will enable organizations to work with various kinds of materials including acrylate, epoxy, silicone, metal pastes, ceramic pastes, carbon pastes, solder pastes, solder resist and polyurethane, among many others. Thanks to the system’s flexibility, this also means that the technology can be used in a wide range of applications. Besides semiconductors and circuit boards, it can also be used for surface-mount technology (SMT) assembly, adhesives dispensing, multi-layer wire bonding, advanced packing, interconnect and via filling, conformal coating, and gaskets and sealing.
“A whole host of industries will be able to adopt an agile manufacturing approach to deliver fully functional products fast, facilitating mass customization when required, and at the same time, be eco-friendly. The flexibility of C.L.A.D. is simply remarkable,” shared Michael Zenou, ioTech’s cofounder and chief technology officer (CTO).
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