The biggest problem with designing rigid-flex hybrid PCBs is making sure everything will fold in the right way, while maintaining good flex-circuit stability and lifespan. The next big problem to solve is the conveyance of the design to a fabricator who will clearly understand the design intent and therefore produce exactly what the designer/engineer intended.
Rigid-Flex circuit boards require additional cutting and lamination stages, and more exotic materials in manufacturing and therefore the cost of re-spins and failures are very much higher than traditional rigid boards. To reduce the risk and costs associated with rigid-flex design and prototyping, it is desirable to model the flexible parts of the circuit in 3D CAD to ensure correct form and fit. In addition it is necessary to provide absolutely clear documentation for manufacturing to the fabrication and assembly houses.
SMTA - Surface Mount Technology Association is a non-profit international association of companies and individuals (totalling 4,000) involved in all aspects of advanced electronics assembly, surface mount and related technologies.
IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a US-based trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its nearly 2,600 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed wiring board manufacturing and electronics assembly.