In a cooperation with our members Ensinger Compounds, Merck KGaA, HARTING AG and the department FAPS, MIDsters in white colour were produced from PEEK. The project demonstrates the possibility of producing LDS-MIDs (Laser-Direct-Structuring Mechatronic-Integrated-Devices) not only in the familiar grey or black colour. In this first study, the functions are the same as on the familiar grey MIDster.
The PEEK MIDster was manufactured using the LPKF-LDS process. This process uses single component injection moulding, which is then locally activated by a laser. A conductive metallization is then applied by means of a chemical metallization without external current. Through-connections, as shown in Figure 1, can be drilled directly in the laser step and become conductive during the metallization process. The assembly and connection technology is carried out by means of dispensing and vapour phase soldering. This process offers a high flexibility for layout changes with good suitability for series production. In this application, the conductor tracks are 250 µm wide and also have a distance of 250 µm between each other.
The PEEK MIDsters were first presented at K2019 and will also be on display at the MID 2020 congress and electronica 2020.