Rigid-Flex PCB Design Guidelines

Rigid-Flex PCB Design Guidelines

Software size:10M
Support platform:Windows/Linux/Unlix
Release time:2017-02-19 16:17:51

Rigid-Flex can have many benefits, and many designers are at least considering it today who previously did not have to. More PCB designers are facing higher pressures to build ever more densely populated electronics, and with that comes additional pressure to reduce costs and time in manufacturing. Well, this is really nothing new of course. It’s just that the scope of these pressures that the engineer and PCB designer have to respond to is continuously broadening. Rigid-Flex PCB technology offers a solution that is viable for many product designs facing these challenges.


Yet there are aspects of rigid-flex technology which could be pot-holes in the road for newcomers. So it’s wise to first understand how flex circuits and rigid-flex boards are actually made. From there we can look at the design issues imposed by the materials used, and the fabrication processes employed by most rigid-flex PCB manufacturers. And from there, we can find a clear path to discover the best practices for rigid-flex PCB design.


This guidebook is my attempt to clearly explain the materials, processes and design issues in a way that will enlighten PCB designers of any level, who have not had a great deal of experience - if any - in designing of flex or rigid-flex circuits. It is based on a collection of blog articles on the subject that were published on the AltiumLive blog pages at http://blog.live.altium.com from August through October 2013. Though the blogs were a little bit glib in places, we’ve done a reasonably good refactoring of the content to make sure it’s not missing anything essential - especially for those who have not yet done a rigid-flex PCB design.


My hope is that this guidebook will form a good enough introduction to rigid-flex PCB design that more readers will see the technology within reach for their own design projects, and that a result overall will be increased adoption. And, with increased adoption there should be decreased costs, which in turn will further increase access for more electronic product developers to utilize rigid-flex boards.






By Ben Jordan


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