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94 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 T h e S e p t e m b e r edition of Design007 Magazine discussed t h e t h e m e o f c o l - laborating and work- ing with a team. In that issue, I wrote a feature article called "PCB Design Is a Team Sport." After that edition was pub- lished, I had several follow-up questions and conversations with individuals; they agreed on the importance of teamwork but felt that it's easier said than done. It's challenging because of the inherent problem of team members accept- ing or handling change very well. Change is a word that sends shivers down the spine of some. You know those sort of individuals. They're easy to iden- tify. The ones that constantly remind everyone, "We never did it that way before." As if how we did things in the past was so much better. the bend and is thus weakened. If a truly accu- rate predictive solution is desired, one can use finite element modeling methods. Another way to get the flex circuit to hold shape for the application is to form it, com- monly done by using a mandrel designed to bend the circuit into shape. e manufacturer can then heat the fixture to a temperature near the glass temperature of the adhesive used in the flex circuit and allow the circuit and fixture to cool in place before removing it. is approach works easiest with polymers and/or adhesives that have relatively low melting points. Another option is to use less common base materials. ese would be materials of low strength and having little, if any, elastic strength. Unreinforced FEP or PTFE (i.e., Teflon), for example, fall into this category. is combina- tion will allow the user to permanently deform the circuit into the desired shape. To summarize, getting flex circuits to hold shape in an application is not that difficult, but it does take some attention. Several options have been discussed but the method of choice relative to those mentioned here will obviously depend on the demands of the design and its application. FLEX007 Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an international author- ity and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. Download your free copy of Fjelstad's book Flexible Circuit Technology, 4 th Edition, and watch his in-depth workshop series "Flexible Circuit Technology." Why don't you hear much reminiscing about the good old days of PCB design? Maybe because it meant long hours at a light table with a sheet of mylar and endless rolls of tape, going home at the end of the day with more scraps of tape on you than finally got into your design, it took hours to get rid of the spots in front of your eyes. I know some read- ers are scratching their heads, wondering what I'm talking about. The truth is, we are a part of an industry that sig- nificantly influences how people live. There is not an area of our lives where electronic devices don't have an impact. With that said, the desire for bet- ter, innovative, faster, and smaller devices are con- stantly causing our industry to change and push for- ward. I would say our industry is reinventing itself constantly. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus had it right when he said that "The only constant in life is change." To read this entire column, click here. John Watson, CID, is a customer success manager at Altium. Elementary, Mr. Watson We've Never Done It That Way Before John Watson

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