Rigid PCBs vs. Flex PCBs: What are the Differences?

Dec. 28, 2022

Rigid PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) and Flex PCBs (Flexible Printed Circuit Boards) are both types of PCBs, which are used as the foundation for electronic devices to provide support and connectivity for electronic components. However, there are some key differences between the two types of PCBs:

Rigid PCB

Rigid PCB

Physical structure

Rigid PCBs are made from a single layer or multiple layers of rigid, inflexible material, such as fiberglass or composite epoxy. Flex PCBs, on the other hand, are made from flexible materials such as polyimide or PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and can be bent or folded without breaking.

Size and shape

Rigid PCBs are typically larger and have a fixed shape, while Flex PCBs are smaller and can be made in various shapes and sizes to fit the specific needs of the device.

Manufacturing process

The manufacturing process for Flex PCBs is generally more complex and requires specialized equipment, as the flexible material requires special handling and processing. Rigid PCBs are generally easier to manufacture, as they are made from a single layer or multiple layers of rigid material that can be cut and drilled using standard PCB manufacturing equipment.

Flex PCB

Flex PCB


Rigid PCBs are commonly used in devices that require a high level of precision and stability, such as computers and servers. Flex PCBs are commonly used in devices that require flexibility and ease of movements, such as smartphones and wearable devices.


Flex PCBs are generally more expensive to manufacture than Rigid PCBs due to the specialized equipment and processes required. However, the cost of Flex PCBs may be justified in certain applications where their unique features and benefits outweigh the additional cost.

Design considerations

Designing a flex PCB requires more attention to detail than a rigid PCB due to the flexible nature of the material. The circuit pattern must be carefully designed to avoid stress points that could cause the PCB to break or fail.

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