Fine Line Printing Q&A with Xymox New Product Development Manager, Mike Hansen

What is fine line conductive printing?

While there is no definitive answer to this, we currently classify screen printed conductive silver with line weights at or below 200 microns (0.008 inches), and relying exclusively on the additive printing process, as fitting our definition of “fine line”.

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Why do we need it?

Our drive to bring line weights down begins with the capacitive touch sensors. Our customers look at the border areas around the sensor as a critical component of the design. Most customers desire minimal borders. To achieve the smallest border we need to reduce the size of printed features in these areas.

Other practical uses for very fine conductive lines keeps growing and some are currently in development, like the security circuitry used in credit card readers.

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Where are we at now?

Today we have production parts with 200 micron line weights produced in the thousands. We consider this to be a production capability. These are produced with standard printing technology.

Prototypes are underway with a target of 150 micron (0.006”) lines. The project requires a more advanced printing technology, and is under active development.

 

What are our future goals with fine line printing?

We continue to drive towards even finer lines, with the expectation to reach production ready 125 micron (0.005 inch) lines within months, and ultimately moving down to 75 micron (0.003 inch) lines in the future.

 

We want to hear from you on how we can continue to improve our printing technologies to better improve your products, let us know in the comments!