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In UUT (Unit Under Test) test fixture design, linear collpase refers to a controlled, uniform, and consistent vertical movement mechanism that ensures all test points on the PCB (printed circuit board) are contacted simultaneously with equal force by the test probes or pogo pins in PCB testing.

This mechanism is crucial for maintaining precise alignment and reliable connections, leading to accurate and repeatable test results. A key feature of linear collapse is that it is non-wiping, meaning the test probes make contact with the test points without sliding across them. This non-wiping action reduces wear and tear on both the probes and the PCB, minimizing the risk of damage and extending the lifespan of the test fixture and the unit under test.

In summary, linear collapse in test fixture design contributes to the reliability, precision, and efficiency of the testing process, ensuring high-quality results while protecting both the fixture and the unit under test.

Linear Collapse on a PCB test fixture

Keypoints to note:

  • Ensures all test points on the PCB are contacted simultaneously with equal force, providing reliable and repeatable test results.
  • Probes make contact without sliding across test points, reducing wear and tear on both the probes and the PCB.
  • Maintains precise alignment of test probes, minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring accurate testing.
  • Extends the lifespan of the test fixture and the unit under test by minimizing mechanical stress and wear.

Manufacturing and programming such linear collapse fixtures typically take four to six weeks.

Linear Collapse Fixtures and Their Features

Consistent Contact Force

Linear collapse mechanisms ensure that the force applied to each pogo pin is consistent, providing reliable and repeatable connections with the test points in PCB testing. This uniform force distribution is crucial for accurate testing results.

Precision and Accuracy

By collapsing in a linear fashion, the fixture maintains precise alignment with the test points. This helps prevent misalignment issues that can lead to false readings or damage to the PCB or the fixture.

Improved Durability and Longevity

Fixtures with linear collapse mechanisms typically experience less wear and tear compared to those with uneven or irregular collapse patterns. This can extend the lifespan of both the fixture and the pogo pins, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.

Enhanced Test Coverage

Linear collapse ensures that all test points are contacted simultaneously and uniformly. This comprehensive coverage is essential for thorough testing, especially in complex PCBs with numerous test points.

Ease of Use

Fixtures designed with linear collapse mechanisms are often easier to operate. The smooth, predictable motion simplifies the process of loading and unloading the PCB, enhancing the overall user experience and reducing the risk of handling errors.

Reduced Stress on Components

A controlled, linear collapse minimizes mechanical stress on both the test fixture and the PCB. This precise actuation helps protect sensitive components from damage, a process known as non-wiping during the testing procedure.


Linear collapse mechanisms can be easily scaled to accommodate different sizes and complexities of PCBs. This flexibility makes them suitable for a wide range of applications, from simple single-board tests to more intricate multi-board assemblies.

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