Mount Prospect, IL —While rapid prototyping of mechanical parts is common, incorporation of electronic cabling into a design is often an afterthought. With four to six weeks fabrication time for a custom designed flat flexible cable (FFC), the impact on the product development process can be severe.
Now an online rapid prototyping system for FFCs from Axon8 Cable offers a solution on the company's website (www.axon-cable.com). The system was developed in-house by Axon8 engineers, according to General Manager Thibaud Leseguillon.
An engineer going to the site chooses the FFC-CAD tool on the home page. The software asks for characteristics needed. At the end of the questioning, a reference design is generated along with a specification the designer can print out. The engineer can also download the FFC design in an AutoCAD format (.dwg or .dxf) for inclusion in the overall layout of the device.
If desired, the engineer can order the cable. While the specific custom design is unlikely to be in stock, a search engine scours all of Axon's stock. The system gives the designer a list of FFC products closest to the design. He or she can then choose the readily available flat cable that best suits the design, or else order the exact custom cable. Leseguillon says of the three main cable parameters—pitch (wire spacing), number of conductors, and length—the first two are often met by a cable of different overall length.
As an incentive to use the site, the company is running a contest, ending November 30, with a computer as the prize.
Additional details…Contact Axon8 Cable Inc., 1601 Feehanville Dr., Suite 600, Mount Prospect, IL 60056; Tel: (847) 699-8822; FAX: (847) 699-8966; www.axon-cable.com