Rapid Response Computer-Aided Manufacture of Printed Wiring Boards (RRCAM)

NCMS Project #: 160215

Problem: DoD has unique requirements in supporting electronic equipment in the field. The service conditions are extremely severe, featuring extremes of temperature, humidity, shock, vibration and long term storage. Adding to the situation is the potential of obsolete components. The original technical data packages are usually deficient in the area of providing design intent.  In order to achieve the same functionality, groups of components may need to be replaced.  This action causes changes to the original artwork for the circuit board.  A quick turnaround process is needed to manufacturer a sample, in order to verify that the changes successfully provide the desired functionality and do not cause any problems to the next higher assembly.


  • Integration of reverse engineering and CAD/CAM to achieve Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM) of printed wiring boards.
  • Shorter production cycles by elimination of tooling and artwork.
  • Shorter processing times by virtue of fewer and faster steps.
  • Reduction in labor costs and increased production rate via automation.
  • Elimination of hazardous wastes associated with plating and etching.
  • Reduced floor space requirement.
  • Reduced maintenance requirement (for plating solutions).

Solution/Approach: The objective of this program is to demonstrate and install a computer-automated alternative to the conventional plate-and-etch technology for producing printed wiring boards. The process is based on newly developed metallo-organic decomposition chemistry for direct, additive metallization of holes and printing of circuit traces. The new technology, names Parmodä, has been used to prepare demonstration circuits with pure copper conductors on laminate substrates that are believed to be the equivalent of conventional plate-and-etch circuits.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army (Tobyhanna Army Depot)

Industry Participation:

  • Paralec
  • Direct Imaging
  • NCMS

Final Report