Forschungsvereinigung Räumliche Elektronische Baugruppen 3-D MID e.V.
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Spatial circuit carriers are experiencing a dynamic development, so that the resulting term Molded Interconnect Devices (MID) during the MID Congress 2010 was renamed to Mechatronic Integrated Devices. The original term reflected the integration of mechanical and electrical functions in injection molded threedimensional bodies. In this area the different MID technologies already have many applications in series products, especially as antennas in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, mechatronic modules in motor vehicles and medical equipment. On the other hand, there is the possibility through a multitude of new coating and printing processes to supply almost all types of carrier materials (e.g. duro- and thermoplastics, ceramics and metal cores) with a larger selection of functions. Besides mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical and lighting also sensor and actuator functions on spatial surfaces can be realized. The idea of cyberphysical objects that are small, intelligent and communicative mechatronic modules, can be realized with MID production technologies in an outstanding fashion.

The aim of the Research Association 3-D MID is to promote and further develop MID technologies. Through joint industrial research and targeted knowledge transfer the technologies are constantly developed to further increase the market position of our members. The biennial MID Congress and the trade fair presences serve to market the MID technologies. The networking among the members promotes competitiveness through comprehensive cooperation and exchange.

The Research Association 3-D MID was founded in 1992 with eight founding members. Since then the research association has grown steadily and today represents the world‘s largest network in the field of Mechatronic Integrated Devices with approx. 100 members (industrial companies and research institutions). In 1996 we joined the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) with steadily increasing subsidies, which currently amount to approx. 1.8 million euros (Status 02/2020). In addition to the international MID Congress, which was first held in 1994, further events and participations were launched. These include the network event MID Summit, numerous workshops and working groups, individual booths at LOPEC, Rapid.Tech 3D and SMT as well as an approx. 120 m² large joint booth on leading exhibitions on electronics.


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Our tasks and goals

The main goals of the association are marketing, promotion and further development of MID technology. This strengthens the market position of our members in the long term and enables innovative products and processes. These goals should be achieved in particular through coverage of the following areas:


  • Forum for the exchange of experience
  • Competition-neutral community research
  • Cooperative promotion of MID technology
  • Crystallization point for 3D-MID technology
  • Realization of 3D-MID projects


The results produced by the research groups will be presented to the members of the research association in advance and are subsequently published in an appropriate manner.

The organs of the 3-D MID

  • The general meeting
  • The management board: Prof. Joerg Franke (Chairman), Dr. Christian Goth (Representative), Dr. Andreas Pojtinger (Representative)
  • The research advisory board: 20 persons of our members from industry and research
  • The executive management


An overview of all persons can be found here.

Chairman of the Board Prof. Dr. Franke gives the opening speech at the 2nd MID Summit 2021

In 1994 the term MID was created as Molded Interconnect Devices and represented the products of the two-component injection molding and hot stamping process. The Laser Direct Structuring Process (LDS) patented by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG in 2000 is still used today in numerous serial products. Further technologies for the functionalization of three-dimensional base bodies led to an extension of the term MID to Mechatronic Integrated Devices in 2010. The innovative plasma, printing and laser-based processes allow a large number of additional functionalities to be applied to an unlimited range of substrates. Today, MID technologies are used in particular in automotive engineering, industrial automation, medical technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications technology, measurement and analysis technology as well as in the aerospace industry.

Egg timer manufactured completely additive in one machine

MID technologies

Two-component injection moulding

+ High design freedom

+ Short process chain

– Tool necessary

– Structuring within the molding process


Hot stamping

+ No chemical metallization necessary

+ Simple and short process chain

+ Wide range of thermoplastics can be processed

– Limited design freedom

– Structuring through embossing


Laser Direct Structuring

+ High flexibility

+ Fine structuring possible

+ High material variety

+ Prototyping possibilities

– Material costs

– Restrictions in the design

Functional printing technologies (inkjet and aerosol based processes)

+ High flexibility

+ Very fine conductor paths possible

+ High material variety

+ Few process steps

– Compatibility with assembly and connection technology


Cold active, non-thermal plasma coating

+ Wide choice of materials

+ No post-treatment necessary

+ No limitation in terms of coating width

– Higher electrical resistance

– Masking necessary for fine structures

Thermal plasma coating

+ Large selection of substrate and coating materials

+ Generation of conductor paths with high conductivity

+ No post-treatment necessary

– Masks are required for selective application

– Small process window for temperature sensitive substrate materials


Selective laser melting (SLS)

+ Completely additive process

+ Large selection of materials

+ Great design freedom

– Long process times

– Surface quality

Public funds of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi)

Within the framework of the Industrial Community Research (IGF), the BMWi provides funds of currently around 180 million euros annually based on an enactment of the German Parliament, of which 3-D MID manages approx. 1.8 million euros. These funds are used for pre-competitive joint research. The handling of IGF projects is based on a cooperation between the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) and a topicspecific research association which is a member of the AiF.

Relevant topics in the Industrial Community Research (IGF)

The Research Association 3-D MID is responsible for all research topics concerning the functionalization of three-dimensional substrates in industrial joint research. In addition, research on the additive production of spatial assemblies is also gladly accepted. Increasing focus is being placed on integrated production processes in order to be able to manufacture mechatronic integrated devices directly in a system and thus obtain a highly functional miniaturized system.

Important criteria for AiF-IGF research projects

The duration of these research projects is usually two years.
The project accompanying committee is composed of about ten companies. Further important requirements are:


  • Pre-competitive, industry-related research
  • Funding of max. 250,000 € per research institution
  • Steering and initiation of the project by the companies in the project accompanying committee
  • Application and project processing by the research institution in German

The International MID Congress is a scientific congress organized and carried out by the Research Association 3-D MID, which deals with current topics concerning MID technologies. The event with scientific publications takes place every two years in different cities. Approximately 200 people from industry and science take part in this event.

The two-day congress was first held in 1994 and is now taking place for the 14th time (2020). For each congress there is a corresponding conference transcript with all information made available by 3-D MID.

The industrial exhibition

Companies participating in the congress have the opportunity to present themselves on site and thus attract attention. Interested parties have the choice between an exclusive exhibition booth, a table-top-presentation or a poster presentation.

The MID Award

Since 1998, the MID Award has been awarded at the International MID Congress. Within this framework, the 3-D MID Research Association honors scientific work which has made outstanding contributions to the further technological development of mechatronic integrated devices.

Technical Tour

At the end of the congress a so-called Technical Tour takes place, which is open to a limited number of participants for a fee. During this guided excursion, a company located in the respective region is visited, which is characterized by its work with innovative technologies.

electronica – world‘s leading trade fair and conference for electronics

At the internationally renowned trade fair electronica in Munich, the Research Association 3-D MID will be presenting itself together with members on a joint booth measuring approx. 120 m². The openly designed booth concept with six screens enables the presentation of the entire process chain for the production of mechatronic integrated devices. The presentation is accompanied by showcases with numerous technical exhibits. In addition, the physical well-being and meeting possibilities are provided in order to be able to deepen the emerging contacts directly on site. electronica is the world‘s leading trade fair for components, systems and applications in electronics. In 2018, it attracted over 3,100 exhibitors from 53 countries and more than 81,000 visitors.

LOPEC – the trade fair for printed electronics

Since 2017, 3-D MID has had its own booth at the LOPEC trade fair every year. It informs visitors about the diverse application possibilities of spatial electronic assemblies, about its members and their offers, as well as about current research projects in the field of printed electronics. With more than 2,700 visitors from over 160 countries, LOPEC offers excellent opportunities to make new business contacts.

The MID Summit was first held in 2019 and is scheduled for every two years. It serves to network the members of 3-D MID as well as external interested parties and offers insights into current trends in MID technologies. The members are given the opportunity to present themselves individually through exhibition booths, tabletop presentations and lectures. The summit, designed as an open exhibition, will be accompanied by technical lectures and guided tours of local research laboratories.

Workshops – on the pulse of time

MID workshops on topics of interest such as standardization, design and production and MID demonstrators are held regularly by 3-D MID. The workshops are open to all members.

Cooperation – FED and OE-A

In order to be able to draw on the expertise of other networks, we maintain cooperations with other professional associations. These include the Fachverband für Design, Leiterplatten- & Elektronikfertigung (FED) and the Organic and Printed Electronics Association (OE-A). The exchange takes place, through mutual visits to events, participation in congresses and cooperation in working groups. Furthermore, representatives of the OE-A have seats on the research advisory board of the 3-D MID.

Over 100 companies and research institutes have decided to join the 3-D MID Research Association. This gives them access to a highly specialized competence network with comprehensive knowledge of MID technologies.


The advantages at a glance:

Learn more about membership here.

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