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pcb-help_pl [2021/01/15 11:13]
benh
pcb-help_pl [2022/06/25 14:43] (current)
benh
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 ==== Knowledge Base: PROTOLASER ==== ==== Knowledge Base: PROTOLASER ====
 +{{ :​protolaser.png?​direct&​400|}}
 === Table of Contents === === Table of Contents ===
   - Overview   - Overview
   - Q & A   - Q & A
 +    - What materials have been successfully etched?
 +    - Using a "​new"​ material
 +    - Optimization
   - Common processing errors   - Common processing errors
     - The pre-toolpath file did not import correctly.     - The pre-toolpath file did not import correctly.
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 ===Overview=== ===Overview===
  
 +The LPKF ProtoLaser U4 is an automated laser etching and micro-machining tool. It uses a pulsed 5.7W 355 nm class 1 laser to reduce thermal effects on the substrate, and a laser spot size of 20 um allows for etching of structures down to a theoretical limit of 65 um (~2.55 mil). This combination allows for a very wide range of processing substrates and films, but it is particularly good for thinner substrates that the more physically-taxing ProtoMat may damage, organic/​flexible substrates, and for very precise RF etching.
 +
 +An incomplete list of compatible substrates and films:\\
 +  * Metal layers of all sorts, including copper, gold, and aluminum
 +  * Laminated substrates, e.g. FR4
 +  * Ceramics, including fired, low-temperature cofired (LTCC), metal oxides, and more
 +  * Flexible substrates, including semi- and selectively-flexible substrates
 +  * Soldermask
 +  * Photoresist
 +  * Glass/​oxide,​ especially with invisible conductive (TCO/ITO) layers
 +  * Any material combination for which the absorption characteristics of the substrate and structuring layer (film) are different
 +
 +Some theoretical specifications:​\\
 +^ Spec  ^ Theoretical value  ^
 +| Laser pulse frequency | 25 kHz–300 kHz |
 +| Structuring speed | 200 mm/s (7.8”/s) on 18 µm/½ oz Cu on FR4 |
 +| Cutting speed | 200 mm/s (7.8”/s) 0.5 mm (0.02”) FR4 |
 +| Diameter of focused laser beam | 20 ± 2 µm |
 +| Minimum line/space | 50 μm/20 μm (2 mil/0.8 mil), on laminated subtrate (18 µm Cu) |
 +| Accuracy | ±1.98 µm (± 0.08 mil) |
 +| Positioning accuracy | ± 20 μm |
 +| Repeatability | ± 2 μm |
 +| Resolution | 1.2 um |
 +
 +For more information,​ see the following documents:​\\
 +The brochure: [[https://​www.lpkf.com/​fileadmin/​mediafiles/​user_upload/​products/​pdf/​DQ/​brochure_lpkf_protolaser_u4_en.pdf|The Swiss Army Knife for the Lab: Micro Material Processing with the LPKF ProtoLaser U4]]\\
 +The Manual: [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EcM8MWAGR1tPu4dySYs2QRwBT9GmpSEZmcbCuVIBn2UfEA?​e=DZws6y| ProtoLaser U4 User Manual.pdf]]\\
 +LPKF's "​How-To"​ guides: [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EbRHI5KMoPZFq2Wot9Tkz1UBi6x02PeX6IDQ7XzBW3dKMw?​e=JjqalH|ProtoLaser U4 How To Guides.pdf]]\\
 +Software guide: [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EY2hkxd8yeNLoB3t0B-_5rcB4rQPIgwmuCHR4CaHTTkFkQ?​e=f6cddG|CircuitPro 3.0 PL - Software Guide.pdf]]\\
 +Vacuum system manual: [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​Edt3AuJWGCBOkM6wxr56268BpM_O1znw6J4flrg26w2iow?​e=AW6e4e|Dust Extraction Manual CSA 600 iSeries-e-1-0.pdf]]\\
 +Optimizing your process: [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EZGQyfhrC0BItpbSxd_rjRQBzDyNWUubu-RCuJr6a3OI9A?​e=5oMu0N|Protolaser - Optimization.pdf]]
 ---- ----
 ===Q & A=== ===Q & A===
 +** What materials have been used successfully?​ ** \\
 +This is a running list of materials that we, or someone we know of, have successfully etched and/or cut. //(Last updated: 2022-06-22)//​
 +  * 0.5oz (18um)/1oz (35um) copper on FR4 (standard Hive material)
 +  * 5mil/​0.125mm polyamide (stencils)
 +  * Polyester (PET) (1mil and 2mil) [Stephan Strassle]
 +  * Rogers TMM 10i [Madeline Holda]
  
 +** Using a "​new"​ material ** \\
 +So you have a material that either isn't in the laser'​s material list, or maybe you just want to play around with the settings. Exciting! Head over to our [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​w:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EShrwNPAMH1Cj3cE3pg5h8QB6r3JP-XtLghmQcU96-fNfA?​e=Ska4Ud|ProtoLaser:​ New Material]] document for how to do this. You can also see below for optimizing this process.
 +
 +** Optimization **\\
 +The ProtoLaser can be a very powerful tool. If you're working carefully with it, and you want to know more details about how the tool works, and how to better optimize your process, please see LPKF's [[https://​gtvault.sharepoint.com/:​b:/​s/​HiveMakerspace/​EZGQyfhrC0BItpbSxd_rjRQBzDyNWUubu-RCuJr6a3OI9A?​e=nbVu4k|Protolaser - Optimization.pdf]] document. This has proven to be useful for some users in the past. You can also contact LPKF directly at [[lasersupport@lpkfusa.com]].
 ---- ----
 === Common processing errors === === Common processing errors ===
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   * **The bottom/top didn’t etch completely.**   * **The bottom/top didn’t etch completely.**
-You can either restart the process entirely (hit the Play button, see figure 32) or right click on “Top Side” (or “Bottom side”) under “Processing” on the left, and click “Process from here” to restart the top (or bottom) side processing with top (or bottom) side alignment.+You can either restart the process entirely (hit the Play button, see figure 32) or right click on “Top Side” (or “Bottom side”) under “Processing” on the left, and click “Process from here” to restart the top (or bottom) side processing with top (or bottom) side alignment. You can also do this for an individual tool or an individual tool for a single scan field.
  
   * **The board is/is not flipped in the Processing tab.**   * **The board is/is not flipped in the Processing tab.**
 On the left of the screen, make sure nothing is selected under “Processing”. If there is, hold down either CTRL (on Windows) or the command key (on Mac) and then left click to de-select it. If that doesn’t fix it, you can select either “Bottom Side” or “Top Side” (again, on the left) to force the correct orientation. You can try starting the project over again if this doesn’t solve it as well. Sometimes, the software has bugs. On the left of the screen, make sure nothing is selected under “Processing”. If there is, hold down either CTRL (on Windows) or the command key (on Mac) and then left click to de-select it. If that doesn’t fix it, you can select either “Bottom Side” or “Top Side” (again, on the left) to force the correct orientation. You can try starting the project over again if this doesn’t solve it as well. Sometimes, the software has bugs.
 +
 +  * **The toolpath generates drilling or cutting operations.**
 +Usually, this happens because the "​supported by ProtoMat"​ box was not checked when you selected the template. Because the ProtoLaser does not know that you are using the ProtoMat for drilling and contour routing, it will try to do it itself. Reselect the template, making sure this box is checked.
  
   * **The software throws and "​Insufficient pressure"​ error.**   * **The software throws and "​Insufficient pressure"​ error.**
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     * //Potential issue:// The vacuum hose(s) may be clogged.     * //Potential issue:// The vacuum hose(s) may be clogged.
       * There are two vacuum hoses. One runs from the extraction hood (the round plastic bit inside the main bay) to the rear interior wall of the tool, and the second runs from the outside backside of the tool to the vacuum system (the tall white box to the tool’s right). You should be able to remove both of these and check for clogs.       * There are two vacuum hoses. One runs from the extraction hood (the round plastic bit inside the main bay) to the rear interior wall of the tool, and the second runs from the outside backside of the tool to the vacuum system (the tall white box to the tool’s right). You should be able to remove both of these and check for clogs.
 +    * //Potential issue:// If your substrate is very small, not enough of the bed may be covered for proper vacuum pressure.
 +      * Tape down an old piece of 8”x12” FR4 on the bed. Then, secure your sample inside one of the cutouts. If the FR4 has a lot of holes, try covering some of them with tape.
  • pcb-help_pl.1610727201.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2021/01/15 11:13
  • by benh