The Starlight 3000FHE is an additive manufacturing and digital 2.5D/3D printing system that provides rapid deposition of electronic circuitry followed by in-line attachment of surface-mounted discrete semiconductor components to create flexible hybrid electronic devices.
In the primary operating mode, inks are printed on flexible PET substrates held in a frame with an addressable print area of 17.5”x 21” (445 x 533mm). The conductive ink is sintered in-line by exposure to PulseForgeTM photonic sintering. In addition, printing of dielectric and decorative marking inks are cured in-line by UV-LED exposure. Single pass or multi-pass operating procedures builds a multi-layer structure that is conveyed downstream to undergo automated semiconductor component placement and subsequent device encapsulation.
A second operating mode can be used when the print module can be used when the printing and curing modules are used separately from the semiconductor component placement module. In this mode, larger area circuits are possible as the area constraints of the pick and place operation are removed. Conductive circuits can be printed and sintered to the borders of the 24”x26” (610 x 660mm) substrates. Dielectric and marking inks are deposited from a full-width head array of 7-8 printheads per ink enabling printing up to 22” (560mm) in width.
A multi-pass print cycle ensures high quality, high yield production as a cross-direction full-width image sensor array captures in-process printed patterns for defect analysis. Operating at line speed, if necessary, print heads can be automatically and precisely re-aligned to allow reprinting and correction of any defects from blocked print head nozzles or inoperable jets.
To deliver efficient, economical silver ink deposition, printing occurs transverse to machine direction as the substrate is transported under a stationary printhead assembly. In this configuration, a swath of the pattern is printed during each pass. This means multiple passes are necessary to complete a pattern that fills the entire platen surface area. The system is capable of sub-100-micron features and operates nominally at 12 feet (3.65m) per minute. Gains in efficiency can be achieved for operations with demands for high-volume, high silver coverage by selecting a full-width printhead array for silver ink printing at 90 feet (27.4m) per minute.
The Starlight 3000FHE has a 24”x26” (610 x 660 mm) heated vacuum platen that is conveyed along a 16’ (4.9m) transport for printing, curing and sintering operations, and subsequent interface with semiconductor placement – all housed within a 35’ (10.7 m) long enclosure. Print and cure cycle for dielectric and marking inks enables 15 square inches (381 sq. mm) per second at 600 dpi. Conductive ink cycle for printing and sintering provides 3 square inches (76 sq. mm) per second.
Starlight 3000FHE is designed for high throughput manufacturing of flexible and hybrid electronic components. Product applications include medical devices, biosensors, appliance interfaces, in-mold electronics and a host of other applications.