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Flexible PCBs at home?


Wim Lewis

Jan 1, 1970
Flexible PCBs are neat. It seems like it shouldn't be that hard to make
them with the usual hobbyist techniques. Has anyone tried this?

The main problem I foresee is that the flexible material is not as
heat-resistant as the normal PCB materials (fr4, phenolic, or whatever).
This shouldn't be a problem for toner-transfer or photoresist etching,
but it would be a problem for attaching components and for rework.
Maybe a carefully-controlled hotplate reflow setup would work.

The data sheets for Dupont Pyralux (polyimide) have a specification
that mentions 10 sec. at 288 C for soldering, and a few hours at ~190 C for
lamination, but no mention of what the maximum temperature for the
material is. Rogers rates its R/flex 1000 to an operating temperature
of 150 C.

The other problem is finding the flexible copper-clad material in hobbyist
quantities ... and at hobbyist prices :) Farnell sells it, as
does, but it's not cheap. Then again, I don't
intend to make very large assemblies out of it, so I should get several
projects out of one sheet.