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98 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 due to cost. Think about the implications if custom jigs, fixtures, and inspection guides could be quickly and inexpensively produced for every job regardless of quantity. Flex and rigid-flex products often require in- tense internal tooling pins with exact diame- ters and overall length. Imagine being able to quickly produce your own pins in infinite di- ameters and lengths without having to pur- chase a 1,000-piece minimum order when you only need 50. A custom inspection fixture for the CMM may be needed to hold a complicated 3D board to be able to measure some dimen- sions while in the final application state. External heat sinks are another application for 3D printing, again, especially for proto- types or small-run orders (think of the heat exchanger example previously mentioned). A metal heat sink with a very complicated profile may challenge the capabilities of tra- ditional machining or be cost prohibitive for small runs. Conclusion I would stack up our PCB engineers against engineers from any of the above industries and challenge them to find creative applications in our industry to use 3D printing to move us for- ward. While a 3D-printed advanced technolo- gy PCB is certainly nirvana with all the hybrid substrates, complex via structures, and differ- ing electrical performances, this technology is just not there yet. But let's check back in again in another six years! PCB007 Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting. To read past columns or contact Williams, click here. At electronica 2018, Mark Goodwin, chief operating of- ficer at Ventec International Group, discusses the compa- ny's marketing strategy along with their newly appointed technology ambassador, Alun Morgan, and how he sees the world. "Ventec is heading in the direction of increasingly becoming a technology company," says Goodwin. "All of the new products we're bringing to the market have Ventec's Marketing Strategy and Their Newly Appointed Technology Ambassador a technology driver, not primarily a cost driver. Cost, price, and supply chain are always important, but we don't want to be a me-too FR-4 laminator forever. We aren't anymore. We're a very strong market leader in thermal management and have ambitions to be lead - ers in other interesting high-technology niche markets too—I use the word 'niche,' but those niches are quite big today." Of Morgan's appointment, Goodwin notes that his role is to help the management team at Ventec to bring their message of technology and techni- cal know-how to a wider audience at the PCB lev- el, and more importantly, at the OEM level. "We know all of our customers in Europe, but we don't know all our customers' customers—we don't know all of the OEMs. Our materials are be- coming more integral parts of their products with functionality, not just real estate or a mechanical structure for holding components. We have to talk to these individuals directly," says Goodwin. Read the full article here. (Source: Pete Starkey, I-CONNECT007) Pete Starkey, Mark Goodwin and Alun Morgan.

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