I have seen several dslrs such as Nikon teardowns and I really admire the way they design the flex cables and FPCs. What I'm wondering is how do they manage to design such complex flex shapes folded inside the device. What software do they use? Do they make a mockup on paper and then translate it to cad?

Is there a training which someone can participate to learn such things?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll bet that there are some designers who will fold paper first rather than start with CAD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil_UK
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 8:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ 3D modelling is the modern world. Try FreeCAD. I use it and develop quite complex 3D models. But, this isn't really a valid EE subject \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


I don't know how Nikon specifically does it but designing a product like that is done pretty much the same way you would design any other product with a rigid PCB.

Flexible PCBs can be designed with common PCB design softwares - e.g. Altium Designer or Cadence.

Then you export it to your favorite CAD software of choice. In a company I worked for we did exactly that - the CAD guys used Solidworks to give the layouter a rough idea of how much space they have. The layouter designed the flexible PCBs and exported them back to the CAD team. Like with any development process, this goes back and forth a couple of times until everyone is happy.


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