Additive Manufacturing of High Resolution Embedded Electronic Systems

Wasley, T.
Li, J.
Ta, D.
Shephard, J.
Stringer, J.
Smith, P.
Esenturk, E.
Connaughton, C.
Kay, R.
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University of Texas at Austin

Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes can facilitate the rapid iterative product development of electronic devices by optimising their design and functionality. This has been achieved by combining two additive manufacturing processes with conventional surface mount assembly to generate high resolution embedded multilayer electronic circuits contained within a 3D printed polymer part. Bottom-up DLP Stereolithography and material dispensing of isotropic conductive adhesives have been interleaved to deposit microscale features on photopolymer substrates. The material dispensing process has demonstrated the high density deposition of conductors attaining track widths of 134µm and produced interconnects suitable for directly attaching bare silicon die straight to the substrate. Interconnects down to a diameter of 149µm at a pitch of 457µm have been realized. In addition, this research developed a novel method for producing high aspect ratio z-axis connections. These were simultaneously printed with the circuit and component interconnects by depositing through-layer pillars with a maximum aspect ratio of 3.81. Finally, a method to accurately embed the packaged circuit layer within the printed part has been employed using bottom-up stereolithography.