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I'm familiar with flex designs but haven't done one myself. Here is some training that I found out about recently that you might find interesting:
Divided into nine sessions, the Flexible Circuits Technology Training Video Series is a comprehensive view into the Structures, Applications, Materials, and Manufacturing Processes of flexible printed circuits.
Each session covers a specific aspect of flexible circuit technology. This video series is a companion to the book, Flexible Circuits Technology. Watch for the fourth edition coming soon in 2011.
- Brief history of flexible printed circuits and basic flex structures.
- Flex technology drivers, markets and applications.
- Flex circuit material, polymers, adhesives and conductors.
- Implementing flexible circuit technology into products.
- Flexible circuit designs, principles and practices.
- Enhancing flex circuit robustness, stiffeners for flex circuits, special design techniques.
- Design guidelines for bending, folding and dynamic movement of flexible circuits; test methods for evaluating cyclical flex life.
- Flexible circuit manufacturing. Single and double-sided, multilayer and rigid flex. Roll-to-roll processing and printed electronics.
- Flexible circuit singulation methods, assembly aids, solderless rigid flex constructions, connector options and assembly standards.
Just Google it. The resources are numerous.
I will look it this weekend.
I have tried Google, I have founds of info on the basics of what a flex PCB is, but I haven't had much luck finding what the gerbers are like for the board house or how to pick materials.
A good resource can be the board house. If they build flex boards they are likely to have a document that will tell you what they need. Different board houses do things differently - it is always a good idea to check with them. The good ones have a technical person on staff that can be a great help.
We have an excellent resource on our website for flex circuit design & manufacturing, written by Robert Tarzwell.
Normally we offer the e-books in this section for free for a limited time as a promotion but charge $10 per download after this period expires.
However, I've removed the pay-only period and have extended the ability to download the e-book for free until 9/30/2011.
Here's the link and let us know if you have any questions about it: San Francisco Circuits PCB school
i am trying to evaluate using pasd to design flexible printed circuit. A flexible printed circuit is a single layer of copper with two layers of material on top and two layers of materials on thee back side, copper is is center. The two top layers (kapton and Adhesive) have cutouts to expose the copper traces and the components are mounted on teh top side (surface mount) I do not know how to go about setting up the layers. Has anyone done this and if so can you guide me or send me a file with the layers set up?
It is possible but it will take a lot of typing. I do not like typing a lot so if you let me know where I can call you. You also contact Mentor Customer Support and they will help you also.
I design Flex/rigid flex all the time with PADS.
The secret is a good fabrication drawing with a well labeled stackup that
pertains to your situation. Artworks and drill files if any) are pretty much standard fare.
I use "Solder Mask" relief artworks as coverlay(s).- when necessary. Copper is Copper. Any silkscreen is regular also.
I'm afraid I can't give you a fab drawing but you get the idea.
The fab drawing is the key, not PADS layering per se.
My 2 cents anyway......