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30 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 I-Connect007 Columnist Mark ompson of Out of the Box Manufacturing has been in CAM engineering for decades, and he's also worked as a PCB designer, so we knew he would have a few things to say about work- ing in a vacuum. As he explains, the designer isn't the only stakeholder in the process who feels like he's working inside the dust bag of a Hoover upright. Andy Shaughnessy: How oen do you design a board without knowing who is going to fabri- cate and/or assemble it? Mark Thompson: at depends on the com- plexities of the given job. As an example, if the job/design has controlled impedances, a good design bureau or company will consult with the fabricator for the lines/spaces and dielec- trics needed to achieve the impedances prior to design and layout. So, the designer knows who will be fabricating the job. If there are spe- cial considerations, the design engineer may even visit the facility to make sure they under- stand the intricacies of the job. Many com- panies will have a design engineer or a field application engineer pre-qualify a fabricator to make sure they can do the work and go over any details necessary to pave the way for suc- cess of the job. I have heard of designers "camping out" with the fabricator for the entire fab process if the Designing in a Vacuum Q&A: Mark Thompson

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