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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 For those of you following my column or who have attended one of my sessions on flex and rigid-flex, you know that the number one message I try to drive home is to work with your fabricator early in the design process, especially when you are new to designing with flexible materials. I can tell countless stories about flexible circuit missteps: • "e flex that didn't flex" • "e flex conductors that cracked when flexed" • "e flex that took eight weeks longer and cost an additional $2,000 than necessary because uncommon materials were specified" e list could go on and on. I can also tell countless stories about design- ers working with fabricators early in the pro- cess resulting in the most robust circuit, suc- cessfully dynamically flexing, on time and within budget. e key to success is working in partnership with your fabricator. Did you notice that I reiterated that key point twice, just in my opening statements? at is how strongly I feel about that message. As I have shied my focus to additive elec- tronics, specifically circuitry that spans the gap between subtractive etch and IC scale, this message becomes even more pertinent. While there are certain high-profile, high-volume designs that have been fabricated with semi- additive PCB processes for several years, the technology is now also serving the low-vol- ume, high-mix market domestically and off- shore. As with any shi in technology in the PCB industry, this comes with a learning curve for both the design community and the fabri- Collaboration to Shorten the Learning Curve PCB Talk Feature Column by Tara Dunn, AVERATEK

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