Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Panelized PCBs - DIY or let the fab do it

(1/2) > >>

I going to do my first panels of a PCB and was wondering which is best - DIY the panels in KiCad or just have the fab house, JLCPCB, do it for me?

Well, if the fab does it, you don't know the step-over between individual boards, or the position of any panel fiducials.  If you do the panelization, you control and know all these items.

If it is a simple prototype board for DIY purposes or has components with very obvious layouts, pads or footprints, you may let the manufacturer do it. Other than that if you have components like below, you can do it yourself to be sure:

-Connectors going beyond board edges and need extra PCB space under them.
-Leaded components requiring reflow soldering and close to the board edges.
-SMD pads with irregular shapes or paste layers.
-Sensitive parts that can be broken during depanelisation. You can place mouse bites away from them.

If you want to do it with KiCAD, there is a plugin. Check this topic:

The board house can usually do a better job than me or the CM, but I do the panelizing myself anyway. That way, I have panel gerbers I can take anywhere. If the board house is backlogged / flooded / closed for spring festival, I can use the same stencil with boards from another factory.

I have always done my own.
I don't know what it is like in KiCad.

For Diptrace, there is a panelizing wizard built-in.
You select v-lines or tabs.  Answer a few questions.  And you're done.
There is also a view of the final panel layers for verification.

Diptrace zip's up all the gerbers and off you go.

I've used JLCPCB and Elecrow to make the panels without any problems.
Even very small 1mm thick PCBs for my model railroad constant lighting.
You just need to stay under there 10cm x 10cm overall panel size to avoid an extra cost.
(Diptrace displays the over all panel size.  So you can adjust the number of rows and columns.)


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

There was an error while thanking
Go to full version
Powered by SMFPacks Advanced Attachments Uploader Mod