Panelising boards, multi-boards
A nice extension to the program would be a function to panelise a board. I have a small board, about 50mm by 50mm, and it would be more economical to step and repeat this with a suitable spacing.
A further extension would be combine two or more different boards into a panel (multi-board)
This is already possible with Target!3001 up to the appropriate pin count
Posted by MikeBK at
Hi jerryro, I had an interesting conversation with one of the users about it very recently. From experience I have always asked my manufacturer to panelise for me and as I remember it was always free of charge. According to the other user it is most of the times chargeable. He has also explained why it would be nice to have full control of how the boards are panelised and where the break spikes are placed. I can see advantages but i am not sure how many of our users would be using such feature. Is this something everybody would welcome? This is a viable feature that potentially can be added to DesignSpark PCB, as all new features it must be a result of high demand in the community. Please drop your comments here, thank you
Posted by jasonwong at
I would also like the ability to be able to panelise my own boards. This would be a key feature I look for when considering moving away from other commercial / paid for CAD packages.
Please consider adding this feature in future revisions.
Posted by MasterFX at
+1 for panelizing.
Basically DS PCB can already do this. The only problem is that DS PCB is renumbering the component-names when copy=>paste a finished PCB.
The developers only have the to ad an option to disable the automatic renumbering.
Posted by dsnyder at
I think that a step & repeat feature would be a great upgrade to DesignSpark. There are some fab houses that will not do the step & repeat for you such as pcbcart. They are a pretty inexpensive overseas fab house and the price goes down if you provide the step & repeat.
Posted by dsnyder at
There is actually a way to do a copy and paste without the reference designators increasing (well almost.) You can create a value and call it (let's say) REFDES and then set it to the same value of the reference designator and set it to display on the silkscreen layer. Then de-select the NAME checkbox for the component under component properties. This creates a silkscreen legend that is "dumb."
Now when you copy and paste the image it does not change the silkscreen reference designator making it nice when you do panelization step & repeats. It will still change the underlying component NAMEs however.
Just a tip I thought I would share.
Posted by Boss at
There was also another detailed post which may be of interest by Northeastman with his solution....Posted by northeastman at Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:41 am
we do this with DS4 quite often.
1. Save the project
2. Open the finished PCB design file
3. Turn on any layers desired
3. Holding the left hand mouse button highlight the whole board
4. Use Ctrl + C to copy the whole board.
5. Use Ctrl+V to paste the whole design
6. Crucial is while the design is still highlighted drag the new copy to the position you require.
7. Repeat for as many copies as you wish
Hint: Sometimes Grouping the whole board before copying helps.
If you open two DS pcb files it is also possible to put two different boards into the one file, we do this if boards in pairs are required to be cut into separate boards later in manufacturing.
The downside of this is that you cannot run the design check as it will show multiple errors, also do not chnage the schematic and try to run foward design changes after doing this.
This technique should ONLY be used for totally finished boards, remeber to save your files and back them up before trying this.
Best to save the duplicated boards in a totally seperate file.
Of course we agree with the other replies that your PCB supplier should be able to panelize your boards, but this technique may be useful if you plan on manufacturing from artwork in house as we often do.
Hope this helps
Posted by radiogareth at
I have the same problem, lots of small boards onto a single A4 panel to get a best price. I have tried the post above (is it me or is it a 'bit unclear' )and it still re-numbers everything.
Posted by PPinto at
It would be great if DS has a panelise feature. As said before some manufacturers don't panelise the boards for you, and it could be much more interesting if you can arrange the boards the way you want.
So +1 from me.
Posted by gyvraut at
Good for me as well, specially if we can panelize multiple design (not simply duplicate one design).
This is particularly interesting to me for prototyping where we tend to split the overall design into individual function for testing and validation purpose.
When all is validated, we combine all our elementatry functions into a single design, and then only need topanelize a single design.