The surfaces of devices such as tablets, smartphones, etc. comprise inlaid, composite laminates made of glass fiber, epoxy etc., and have tight specifications on color, hand-feel, flatness, gloss, reliability, and cosmetics. Deco painting of composite materials to achieve the requisite specifications is expensive and has low yield. This disclosure describes film-transfer manufacturing techniques that achieve the tight specifications on the surfaces of consumer-grade electronic devices. A multi-layer, pre-textured film with pre-printed colors is laminated onto the composite substrate, which is the surface of the finished product. A first set of layers transfers a designed color and texture to the composite substrate. A second set of layers acts as a protective barrier against dust. The composite substrate and the film together undergo thermoforming, where the film transfers its color and texture to the surface of the finished product. Upon the completion of manufacturing, the top layer of the film is removed. The techniques obviate direct deco-painting of the surfaces, thereby improving yield, reducing wastage, reducing overall cost, and achieving consistent color/gloss across production runs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.