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The ultimate factor in deciding when not to use the Kapton polyimide film manufacturing method is a combination of desired size and flexibility. Basically, the moment you’re uttering “micron” as opposed to “mils”, best to start thinking about thin film. Conventional flex circuit manufacturing often starts with rolls of Kapton — a Dupont™ polyimide film pre-clad [...] Read More
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Electroforming, electrochemical machining, and electrical discharge machining all use electrolytic baths. But only one is additive, which helps explain why it’s also more precise. Electrolytic baths have a long history as a way to add very thin layers of material to a target metal, as in silver or gold plating, or to remove material, as in electrolysis, such as for the removal of rust from [...] Read More
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Of all the devices our clients call on us to make, ultra-miniature flex circuits are among the most challenging. Success often requires spending considerable upfront time with customers to gain a full understanding of their specific requirements as well as to identify risk factors that either they or we may help mitigate before committing to full-scale production. It is not always clear during our [...] Read More
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Ultra miniature flexible circuits are highly complex devices with some amazing characteristics. Metrigraphics makes circuits with feature sizes ranging from 3 to 10 microns, some of which are so flexible they can wrap around a pencil. Some of our ultra miniature flex circuits have as many as 6 layers (although 6 is not our limit); some can withstand extreme mechanical loads; and some can perform without [...] Read More
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To us, the question is less, “How is miniaturization impacting the development and design of medical technology?” and more its reverse. Medical design is increasingly impacting miniaturization. Testament to this, as a micron-scale process developer and manufacturer, we’re receiving more and more requests from biosensor and device designers looking to push the limits; circuits need [...] Read More
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Knowing how to more effectively source small parts at high yields is a key success factor for medical OEMs looking to pack highly innovative designs into very small products.   We are receiving a lot more inquiries these days from medical OEMs. These companies are busy turning a growing backlog of scientific innovations into marketable products that will advance healthcare and grow businesses. [...] Read More
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In an earlier blog post we discussed why micron-scale circuits tend to perform better when made using an additive versus a subtractive process. The additive process defines circuit lines by adding (electroplating) conductive material on top of a thin metal film that’s been sputtered onto a substrate. The subtractive process defines circuit lines by removing (chemical etching) conductive [...] Read More
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Does your product or application call for a very tiny part?  If so, nano-scale electroforming may be your best or even your only option. To find out for sure you’ll need to talk to someone with expertise and experience in this highly specialized field of manufacturing. To get that discussion started, here’s some background on the key factors that help determine nano-scale electroforming [...] Read More
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Sputtering and photolithography vs. chemical etching—the advantages are clear. Device makers have a choice of whether to specify an additive or subtractive process for fabricating the micron-scale circuits used in their products. Knowing the basic differences between the two is important because choosing the right one can make a big difference in the whether a circuit will perform as required.   In [...] Read More