printers for high resolution transparency photomasks

Mary Tang mtang at stanford.edu
Sat Apr 30 13:53:43 PDT 2011


Hi Mikael --

Yes, it would be handy to have one of these -- though cost of ownership 
can be high compared to the low price and quick turnaround of ordering 
from a service.  They are usually described as film plotters or laser 
plotters for PCB's.  You'll want the kind that can print on mylar, 
probably at least 16,000 DPI to be able to define decent line edges for 
10 micron structures.  One service listed on the SNF website provides up 
to 40,000 dpi, though 20,000 seems more common.  One more thing to 
consider is that the print drum size makes a difference -- your typical 
desktop laser printer has a small diameter drum that the 
paper/transparency is wrapped around which means that the image is 
slightly elongated along one axis.  So, you'd have to compensate or 
layout all your masks in one direction.  Or, as I learned recently from 
Bill Martin (our Compugraphics and Infinite Graphics contact and mask 
expert - Bill at Martinphotomask.com) there are fancy flat bed imagers 
which don't have this bias.  If you search on terms like laser 
photoplotter or film plotters for the PCB industry, there should be a 
lot of manufacturers.

M

On 4/30/2011 12:04 PM, Mikael Evander wrote:
> Hi.
>
> Does anyone know what kind of printers the companies that offer high 
> resolution transparency photomasks use? I'm not talking about a really 
> good office printer but the professional stuff. I've seen masks with 
> features down to 10 um that looks really nice but I have no idea how 
> expensive those printing systems are and if it is something that would 
> be possible to acquire for a lab.
>
> thanks and best regards
>
> Mikael

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