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66 The PCB Design Magazine • June 2017 • Data is used to define the photo tools, which can be a plastic film or glass, or in the case of LDI (laser defined imaging) the data needed for machine programming. In addi- tion to defining the traces, files contain coupon images, fiducial marks for optical alignment, etched nomenclature and panel serialization codes. • Vias, through-holes, and registration holes are defined as drill files. The first step, after is- suing the material to the manufacturing floor for fabrication, is to drill and rout these holes. Subsequent steps such as imaging or coverlay placement must be aligned to these holes. • Coverlay: The coverlay layers are often created by drill and routing steps or with laser cutting. The NC drill equipment needs data to define the location, shape and size of each cov- erlay opening. • Electrical test files: Electrical testing can be done with a bed of nails tester or a flying probe tester. In either case, CAD data is used to define the test programs. • Cutline routing: The cutline can be created by NC routing, laser cutting, or a physical die. CAD data is used to create the files for program- ming equipment that directly creates the cut- line or creates the die. • Nomenclature printing: CAD files are used to define the text that gets printed on the panel. Some of the nomenclature can include: – Cavity location information on each part in the panel – Part number specific nomenclature – Cavity ID – Any needed orientation or registration markings • Solder stencils for SMT component assembly • Stiffeners: The polyimide and/or FR-4 stiff- eners are often drilled and routed to a specific configuration • AOI (automated optical inspection): CAD files are again used to create the AOI program for machine inspection Once the complete set of CAD file layers are created, they are run through a series of automated design rule and configuration checks to ensure all layers match up and fit together properly. In addition, the preliminary manu- facturing files are reviewed by engineering as part of a design review process. All told, CAD/ CAM technology helps streamline and fool- proof the design, layout and panelization of a flexible circuit. PCBDESIGN Dave Becker is vice president of sales and marketing at All Flex Flexible Circuits LLC. CAD FOR FLEXIBLE CIRCUITS Circuit Scribe announced the release of their revolutionary DIY electronic kits, made with just printer paper, a Circuit Scribe pen, and a circuit. A progression from education use to application, the paper kits are currently available exclusively on their Kickstarter campaign. Creators can draw anything with a non-tox- ic, highly conductive, silver and water based ink. This low-cost, high-quality electronics kit al- lows kids and adults alike to ex- press their personality through their own unique creations. The Original Cir cuit Scribe product was the widely popular, crushing their $85,000 crowdfunding goal and raising a staggering $675,000 from over 12,000 backers. The most popular of the DIY kits is the elec- tronic drone. This kit literally flies off the page. Parents working together with their children can create a 4-propeller drone using cardboard and the Circuit Scribe conductive ink pen. The DIY drone kit will include perforated sections that ensure symmetrical shapes. The shapes can be configured and reconfigured in multiple varia- tions to change the drone's size. Learn more . Drones with Just Pen, Paper and a Circuit

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