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PCBD-July2015

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54 The PCB Design Magazine • July 2015 tional person in the communication chain can prove challenging which could ultimately cre- ate additional costs and challenges. 9. Value for Money This doesn't just refer to whether you receive the right product for the right price. Instead it refers to the number and the frequency you re- quire PCBs developed. For some organisations, PCBs are required on a regular basis and as a product takes shape and grows in its develop- ment (e.g., new product ranges or advances in technology), changes to PCBs will be required. In this situation, in-house design capabilities and software can be seen as a good investment. However, for some companies, PCB designs are done infrequently or on an ad-hoc basis. In this situation it can often be cheaper and easier to outsource. Ultimately the return on invest- ment needs to stack up. 10. Improved Expertise Undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons to choose to outsource your PCB design work is the knowledge and experience that can be uti- lised and harnessed by working with an organ- isation that regularly undertakes this sort of de- sign work. Professional PCB designers will work on a wide range of designs daily, so their familiar- ity with the software is unparalleled. They also regularly undertake training and development, enabling them to be at the forefront of the de- velopments within the industry. Their ability to react and adapt to the needs of the customer and bring additional ideas and solutions to the table helps support and enhance your project. A good design team will have tackled hun- dreds of projects from a wide range of industries and can play a vital role in bridging the gap be- tween product development and manufactur- ers by providing an instant skill set. PCBDESIGN 10 CONSIDERATIONS FOR OUTSOURCING PCB DESIGNS continues article Steve Dobson is a PCB design and computer-aided design solutions specialist with Quadra Solutions. Researchers from the university of illinois at urba- na-Champaign have developed a new approach for forming 3D shapes from flat, 2D sheets of graphene, paving the way for future integrated systems of gra- phene-MeMS hybrid devices and flexible electronics. "To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate graphene integration to a vari- ety of different microstructured geometries, includ- ing pyramids, pillars, domes, inverted pyramids, and the 3D integration of gold nanoparticles (aunPs)/ graphene hybrid structures," explained Sungwoo nam, an assistant professor of mechan- ical science and engineering at illinois. "The flexibility and 3D nature of our structures will enable intimate biosens- ing devices which can be con- formed to the shape and characteristics of human skin and other biological systems. The 3D protruding micro-structures can also achieve enhanced sensitiv- ity by maximizing the effective contact area between the sensors and non-flat surfaces." Graphene, a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice of sp2-bonded carbon atoms, has been widely stud- ied due to its high carrier mobility, chemical inert- ness, and biocompatibility. To date, various reported methods of graphene transfer have been mostly limited to planar or curvilinear surfaces due to the challenges associated with fractures from local stress during transfer onto 3D microstructured surfaces. Detailed scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and elec- trical resistance measure- ment studies show that the amount of substrate swell- ing, as well as the flexural rigidities of the transfer film, affect the integration yield and quality of the integrated graphene. Building 3D Objects from Graphene Sheets

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