Designing with embedded components

Is there a recent update that allows to design for embedded components in a multilayer pcb-- both flex and rigid?

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Could you go into a bit more detail in what you really need?

What do you mean by embedded components?
Do you mean components that are not placed on either the top or bottom of the pcb but in some inner layer. If this is the case than sadly kicad currently is not able to support your usecase. (At least not the stable or nightly builds. Maybe there is a special development build that has these features.)

While an interesting concept, how do you “embed” a component in a multi-layer board? You would have to make the board, add components and then sandwich them together? Are we talking about doing cutouts on individual layers?

Last year i talked to some guys from the fab that i normally use. (At a trade show)

Currently they mostly embed copper features (high current capacity) or heat pipes.

But there is also the option of embedding components within the PCB. At the trade show they had a demonstration board with embedded IGPT modules.

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Altium supports this but I’m not aware of any kicad support.

Thnx Andreas. I am aware of this & of other EDA( high cost tools)
It wont be much of a big deal to incorporate this feature in KiCAD though

Are you sure about that?
I agree it would be nice to have such a feature but i do not think this will be easy to implement.

We use flexi pcbs for front panel membranes, they incorporate dome switches, resistors and LEDs, as well as user facing legend. I’m not really a fan of membrane switches, but the final assembly comes out really nice.

I wasn’t involved with the layout at all, but off the top of my head at least the changes required would be to specify the layer stack up for pads. Currently pads are restricted to top/bottom layer.

My post got rejected due to large file size.
Pl search the ‘net for
-WE embedded webinar

  • general papers on embedded technology

If you need to.

Keeping HaD mention for the record:

This would be fun to implement in a DIY, cheap way for 1.6mm 2 layer boards after the normal PCB fabrication process: with a mini CNC mill, carve little rectangles for i.e 0603 caps and resistors.

Tons of interesting implementation details I can think of, i.e: Is there a way for the .drl files to specify a precise z-axis depth on a 2 layer board (without drilling all the way down?). That way one could sort of castellate smd connections in-board… A QFN pad would be challenging to pull off though.

Not to mention the changes needed on the 3D viewer to properly visualize all this without dealing with tons of edge cases for every footprint :-!

Does KiCad run for Google Summer of Code this year? I bet some students would be eager to implement such quirky fun features :slight_smile:

Idea about embedded compoments…

While browsing some PCB fab house rules I noticed that a lot (most?) seem to have an option to make pretty thin pcb’s.
You could split a design into 2 thin separate pcb’s with some cutouts in one or both for the components on the other pcb.
Then during assembly the pcb’s will be aligned and held together by some through hole components.
To do this in a convenient way would need extra solder masks for the “internal” layers and the possibility to place components on those layers.

Another technique would be to use castellations.
Usually these are only on the outside of a pcb, but if you have a cutout in a pcb you can have castellations in the cutout and place components in the cutout and solder them to the castellated side of the cutout.

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Yeah, my poorly described idea was more on your second paragraph’s line of thought: castellations with controlled depth drilling. Cheapest PCBs are usually at 1.6mm thickness, so plenty of room to embed components in there.

I see your first paragraph’s option very interesting but way more tricky and expensive for hobbyist level: thinner PCBs are significantly more expensive and alignment issues can be nightmarish.

A post was split to a new topic: Has anybody expirience with placing small passives inside through holes?