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Parent page: Rigid-Flex Design
A Board Region is the term used to describe each user-defined area of the board that needs a unique layer stack assigned to it - a standard requirement for a rigid-flex PCB. In the image below the board shape has been divided into three distinct Board Regions: the upper circular region, the thin center strip, and the lower circular region.
When a new board is created it defaults to having a single Board Region. If the board design requires multiple regions, then you can either:
► Learn more about Rigid-Flex Design
Board Regions are Bend Lines are defined and edited in Board Planning Mode (View menu).
There are a number of approaches that can be used to define the Board Regions:
A Board Region is a polygonal object, which is placed using the standard polygonal object placement techniques. The board shape must be precisely defined, so it is important that the regions that make up the board are created exactly as required. The video below demonstrates creating Board Regions by aligning their edges against pre-placed workspace guides. The advantage of this technique is that the location of workspace guides can be precisely defined by editing their coordinates in the Properties panel.
► Learn more about Placing a Board Region
You can divide an existing Board Region into two regions by slicing it. This is done when the PCB editor is in Board Planning Mode.
To slice a Board Region:
Depending on the shape of your board, it can be more efficient to build up the shape by creating multiple Board Regions. As mentioned above, the regions can be interactively placed, or created by tracing an outline defined from track and arc objects. The video below demonstrates defining three Board Regions from selected objects. In the video you will note that the same object is used to define the adjacent edges where the regions touch, ensuring that these regions are exactly positioned.
When the PCB editor is configured to operate in the older rigid-flex 1.0 mode, the location where two adjoining regions meet was defined by a movable blue split line. This approach is not used in rigid-flex 2.0, instead, each region is a separate, closed polygonal shape. As a polygonal shape, each region can be adjusted as required using the standard polygonal shape editing techniques. Note that not all polygonal editing commands are available for modifying a Board Region, including the adding and subtracting polygons commands.
Related article: Defining the Layer Stack
When a new board is created it will have a single region, named
Default Layer Stack Region. This region will be assigned the default layer stack named
Board Layer Stack.
When you split a board shape into multiple regions, each new region is also assigned the default layer stack. Once the required layer stacks have been defined in the Layer Stack Manager, then each region can have its stack assigned and also can be given a meaningful name.
To assign a layer stack and name a region:
To define how a flex board should bend, you place one or more Bending Lines. The Bending Line defines where on the surface of the flex region that the bend is to take place. The Bending Line also defines the angle and radius of the bend. The width of the strip of board surface that is being bent is displayed in orange, this width is calculated from the bend angle and radius (learn more about the bending line properties). Bending Lines are placed and edited with the PCB editor in Board Planning Mode (View » Board Planning Mode, or press the 1 shortcut).
To place a Bending Line:
The properties of a selected Bending Line can be edited in the Properties panel. Because the Bending Line is on top of a region, you might find that when you click on the Bending Line the region underneath it selects instead. Without moving the cursor, click a second time to select the Bending Line instead of the Board Region.
To modify the location of an existing Bending Line:
When the handle of a Bending Line is moved the handle will snap in accordance with the current snap settings. Press Ctrl+E during movement to pop up the snap setting interactive control panel, as shown in the image below. Press Esc after changing settings to apply the settings and close the panel.
As well as snapping to the snap grid and workspace guides, the Bending Line can also be snapped to existing design objects, such as lines on a mechanical layer. The image below shows a Bending Line handle being positioned on the end vertex of a line on a Mechanical layer. Note that the current Hotspot Snap setting applies (shown on the Status bar) during movement, if the mechanical layer is not the active design layer Hotspot Snap must be configured to All Layers for this snap behavior to work. Press the Shift+E shortcut to cycle the Hotspot Snap setting through the available modes, as you work.
To delete a Bending Line, click anywhere within its orange band to select it, then press the Delete key.
To edit the properties of a Bending Line in the Properties panel:
► Learn more about the Bending Line properties.
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