PCB007 Magazine

PCB-June2015

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74 The PCB Magazine • June 2015 The flex-to-fit concept reminds us that cre- ativity and engineering go hand-in-hand. Imag- ine this scenario: As an engineer, you have been tasked with the challenge of adding sensors to the front spoiler lip of the new 2015 Porsche Cayman. There is limited space available and the cavity is thin enough that running even a small wire bundle would be difficult. What do you do? Let's take a look at the flex-to-fit concept. When there is not ample space for a con- ventional approach, this process, which is the convergence of the mechanical world and the electronics world, results in the ability to de- sign a flexible circuit along the contour of an existing, irregularly-shaped structure. By taking the mechanical part, extruding the surface and then conforming to that surface, a flex circuit can be created that will fit perfectly within the confines of a limited space or cavity. In a recent conversation with Mike Brown, of Interconnect Design Solutions, he helped to clarify this pro- cess, and we discussed several exciting applica- tions. He also explained the benefits to the flex- ible circuit design process. Most electronic systems require an enclo- sure to support a rigid PCB. Looking beyond the constraints of an enclosure and incorporating flexible circuits within the contours of other ex- i sting structures, opens up endless possibilities. In the example of the Porsche Cayman, imagine by Tara Dunn OMnI Pcb flex talk The Flex-to-Fit Approach FeAtuRe Column Figure 1: Front spoiler lip for the 2015 Porsche cayman. The flexible circuit can now be contoured to fit the inside cavity of the organic shape.

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