When Paul Eisler invented the first PCB back in 1936, he probably didn’t know how significant his invention was. His invention enabled the easy reliable addition of electronic circuits to everything in our modern day life.
As technology advances, the demand to make those circuit boards lighter, cheaper and more invisibly integrated into everyday designs called for unusually creative design approaches, most recently, the concept of Flexible Circuits was introduced. Yes, you read that correctly! Flexible Circuits or Flex circuits for short are the new kid on the block. Those bendable PCBs are made using polymer films in conjunction with copper instead of the usual Resin/Copper combo.
If you think that those Flexible Circuits are flimsy and not robust enough for you, think again! Not only are they cheaper than their solid state counterpart but they are robust enough to be used in critical applications like Aviation, Automobile, medical and consumer electronics industries.
Recent developments in the medical field specifically have allowed inventions like hearing aids, insulin, and subcutaneous medication delivery systems to use full advantage of Flexible Circuit technology. Another rapidly emerging field that uses Flexible Circuits is Wearable Technology (Wearables for short), this field includes a whole host of space-age inventions from smart watches to smart glasses, Virtual Reality headgear and even Augmented Reality eyewear which is showing very promising results in the Defense and Military arena.
If you know a thing or two about electronic design then you know that in order to make any PCB Fabrication process feasible then it would have to be a bulk process. Usually, many boards are arrayed on a panel design that goes through all the fabrication steps and then has to be de-paneled (removed from the panel). While this can be done on regular CNC Milling machines for regular PCBs, Laser de-paneling is your only option for precision routing of Flexible Circuits. At A-Laser, we specialize in all sorts of de-paneling projects for regular PCBs and flex boards using the state of the art, clean, vibration free UV laser systems that we have. The next time you’re considering your new board design please don’t hesitate to contact us for the best, most professional experience available on the market today.