3-D MID / Film Technology


Kühlkörper mit Leiterbahn und LED

To date three-dimensional injection-molded circuit carriers have been called Molded Interconnect Devices (3D MID for short). These combine electrical and mechanical elements into one part. The production of the component is followed by the application of the conductive paths and the assembly. Thereby, in contrast to conventional two-dimensional circuit board-technology, completely new approaches in design and functionality can be taken. Furthermore, the process chain is shortened and thermal transition regions are reduced. Instead of using traditional thermoset materials in electronics, technical thermoplastics (e.g. PA, PBT, PC and ABS) and High-Temperature-thermoplastics (e.g. PPS, PEI, PES or LCP) are used as a substrate material. Having overcome the limitations of traditional thermoset materials, it has become evident, that the term “MID” expands more and more to Mechatronic Integrated Devices. This extends to the fact, that components no longer need to be manufactured via plastic injecting molding. Rather, other materials like ceramics are beeing incorporated. MID production can occur with different processing types depending on the metallization and structuring of the component. Research at “Lehrstuhl für Kunststofftechnik” is focused on hot stamping, radiation-crosslinked plastics, laser structured surfaces, flexible circuit carriers based on plastic films and functionalization of plastics with fillers, e.g. in terms of electrical and thermal properties.

As already mentioned there is the possibility to use plastic films as a carrier for decorative and functional properties in MID applications. Many technical questions and problems can be solved thanks to the high flexibility in manufacturing, especially in shaping and innovative production technology. Aside from full surface metallizations, structured metallization elements, such as HF sensor systems, can be embedded into the highly flexible integrated system of polymer films. Afterwards, the decorative, functionalized semi-finished product can be shaped via cold forming or thermoforming and adhesively bonded to three-dimensional parts via back-molding.

LKT has several years of experience in the area of MIDs. Furthermore, it is a member of the research union “Räumliche Elektronische Baugruppen 3-D MID e. V.”, which provides an exchange and transfer of research results.



Andreas Fischer, M.Sc.