January 1, 2021

Swissto 12

Swissto12 and CSEM collaborate to transform the manufacturing processes of radio frequency (RF) systems.

Additive manufacturing

In today’s age of instant communication and massive flows of information running across the globe, our data transmission needs have never been so high and diverse. To meet those needs, today’s antennas are becoming more complex, sometimes comprised of hundreds of intricated parts. This complexity increases both the costs and the weight of such antennas. the latter being critical for antennas used in satellites.

Swissto12 has thus turned to additive manufacturing as an alternative, customized production method. Thanks to their expertise, complex parts are printed as single and monolithic elements, reducing their assembling time, complexity, and cost. Adapted metallization transforms those 3D-printed part in high-performance antennas. However, it is necessary to adapt metallization process to the challenges created by the novel materials and surfaces obtained by 3D-printing.

Surface treatment

Swissto12 and CSEM have been collaborating for over four years to develop metal plating processes adapted to 3D printed parts. Thanks to its expertise in surface engineering and chemistry, new proprietary surface treatments and electroless processes have been developed to produce highly adhesive and conformal coatings on 3D-printed polymeric or metallic materials. CSEM is currently developing a customized electroless silver plating process enabling conformal coatings of 3D-printed surfaces to up to 10-micrometer thickness.

Swissto12: “CSEM is a strategic partner for Swissto12. Its technical experts in various fields allow us to move forward in our specific developments for our Radio Frequency applications. In addition, the proximity of our two entities is a real asset to facilitate exchanges”.