Panelize: The Result

Today I got my PCBs:

They look very nice :) Except that the mounting hole has not been drilled, very clever ;) Have to find out what went wrong, but I guess I forgot to include the NPTH drill file. Who cares, maybe I’m going to cut away the last centimeter of the board anyway.

Here is one cut away and almost fully assembled:

I hope the PT survived the soldering torture. Hand soldering these is not so easy because they should have solder below them to make better thermal contact. I’ll find out if it works as soon as i found out where my inductors are hiding…

Panelize Kicad PCB

Edit: panelize.py got a permanent place here.

Making PCBs is fun these days. Years ago I always paid a lot of money and got one single layer PCB without mask or silk screen. Now there are many PCB manufacturers which make prototyping PCBs for reasonable prices. But normally they don’t allow you to make panels (putting multiple circuits on one PCB). At least two manufacturers exist which allow you to create up to 5 panels per PCB: seeedstudio.com and iteadstudio.com (their PCB options look so similar that I think it’s the same manufacturer).

But how do you create the panelized production files?

Doing it by hand is too cumbersome. It could be done with the gerber files. But I chose to write a little python script panelize.py which duplicates the specified parts in a kicad PCB file (.brd). The advantage is that the panelized version is still editable with kicad and I still can run the checks.

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