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74 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 Do you consider yourself to be a creative person—an artist? Do you use creativity in your day-to-day work activities? In the early days of my career in the PCB industry, I prided myself on my analytical skills. e ability to reason, analyze, prob- lem solve, plan, and organize was something I was proud of. I still am. I also have a creative side and in my spare time I put that creativity into home décor. In those days of frilly bows, ribbons, and plastic flower arrangements, I could wield a glue gun with the best of them. Years ago (I won't say how many), someone said to me that flexible circuit applications are really only limited by your imagination. at resonated with me and is a phrase that I oen repeat when talk- ing with engineers and printed circuit board designers. e ability to use unusual shapes, bend and fold to replace wires, and wrap around fixed areas in the electronics are all significant benefits of flex- ible circuits. is also challenges us to think outside the box, (pun intended). Once a design is no longer limited to the traditional rigid board shapes, creative ideas are needed to take full advantage of these benefits. Side note, I wonder how many designers and fab- ricators have named their designs based on these unusual shapes. Personally, I remember the tire spoke boards, the giraffe, and the plus sign, amongst others. But once this creativity is engaged, the le side of the brain must also be engaged. I have learned many tips and tricks over the years to help ensure "revision A" success with flex design. One that has always stood out to me is to start the layout of the flex first. at helps eliminate one of the inherent risks of design- ing a circuit that is going to bend, fold and go around corners. It is very easy to get finished and have those connections be on the opposite end of what you actually intended. Today, there is a new tool being added to designers' toolboxes: the ability to design with 25-micron trace and space and below. While mSAP has been a solution for high volume applications, most notably the smartphone Creative Minds Pushing Boundaries PCB Talk Feature Column by Tara Dunn, AVERATEK

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