LPKF Laser & Electronics will unveil what it claims is the first hybrid milling/laser system at the 2014 International Microwave Symposium (IEEE-IMS), to be held June 3-5 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla. The system, which is the latest member of the company’s ProtoMat family, combines the speed of mechanical milling with ultraviolet (UV) laser precision. The ProtoLaser U3 UV laser system creates circuitry by selectively ablating surface material from circuit-board substrates. Creation of complex RF and microwave printed circuit boards (PCBs) occurs in minutes. In addition, the laser’s non-contact, stress-free nature enables it to work with very delicate PCB materials, such as fired ceramics. An intelligent control system and advanced CircuitPro software ultimately determine the most efficient use of either the laser or mechanical tools, as required by the board’s layout.