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Does your electronic device have strict mechanical housing requirements to follow? Or maybe you’re pushing the boundaries of technology with flexible or wearable electronics. Innovative product design is a moving target, and you’re constantly having to come up with new ways to make the electronics side of things work just right. Rigid-flex technology offers a versatile solution for this increasingly common design hurdle.
Figuring out the Details of Your PCB’s Stackup
Making sure your board has the right number of layers, with the correct thickness and material type, and in the proper orientation can sometimes be an entire job in itself. Not to mention the complexity of creating multiple layer stacks, each with their own set of constraints. Stackups for flexible board regions have their own set of unique requirements for things like coverlay, stiffeners, surface coating and core materials. Managing all of this in an organized way can be a difficult task.
Advanced Layer Stack Management and Board Planning
Create the right stackup for your rigid-flex board
- A comprehensive layer stack manager organizes your stackup details to make creation easy during the planning stages.
Learn More about Layer Stack Management
- Tools for board planning let you layout and organize multiple stackup regions, including details such as bending line placement and radius.
Learn More about Board Planning Mode
- Connect Altium Designer to third-party extensions for creating and managing layer stacks for high speed design.
Learn More about ICD Stackup Planner
Visualizing Your Rigid-Flex Design before Going to Prototype
Bending and fitting your board into a mechanical housing without spending money to build a prototype, is a difficult task when designing rigid-flex. Component bodies on different sections of the device may interact in ways you didn’t expect, or dimensions of flexible sections may not be designed properly to bend like you want. How can you design such a dynamic, physical object without actually being able to hold it in your hands?
Native 3D PCB Editing and Real-Time Clearance Checking
Get rid of those paper dolls once and for all
- You can view and edit your flexible board just as you would in the real world, including accurate bending and folding.
Learn More about Native 3D PCB Editing
- Check to see how your component bodies interact with each other during folding to make sure there aren’t any critical conflicts.
Learn More about Component Clearance Checking
- Find out if your board can fold and fit inside your product’s mechanical housing. Virtually prototype everything in your design to guarantee you need as few physical prototypes as possible.
Learn More about ECAD/MCAD Integration
Creating Useful Rigid-Flex Documentation
Prototyping is essential when you’re designing flexible electronics, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if you can’t accurately convey your design intent to a manufacturer. When it comes to rigid-flex design, standard documentation usually isn’t enough to do that, and there are unique elements you need to specify directly to your manufacturer. What’s the best way to make sure your manufacturer follows your stackup guidelines and specifications? How do you accurately show how your board bends and folds?
Comprehensive 3D Outputs and Documentation
Don’t lose the details of your rigid-flex design when going to manufacturing
- Include all the details of your layer stacks in your fabrication notes by automatically generating a layer stack table and board map.
Learn More about Layer Stack Table
- Create 3D prints and video of your rigid-flex design so your manufacturer can see just how it’s supposed to bend and operate.
Learn More about 3D Prints and Video
- Generate accurate mechanical design files of your board in a folded state to ensure nothing is lost in the MCAD environment.
Learn More about ECAD/MCAD Integration