What software for PCB step & repeat?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by ErnieM, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. ErnieM

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Do any of you do PCB step & repeat to create a large pallet of identical boards?

    I would like to do this for a job. I would have the complete file that defines the board when I want to make a solder screen print mask.

    Does anyone know of an inexpensive or even free package to do this?

    Also, does anyone have a handle on an inexpensive depanelizer?
  2. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Diptrace does panelizing as well as just about any decent PCB program. Of course you can always tell your board house to panelize it for you too. Either you can tell them how you want it or they will do the most efficient panel usage and lay it out for you.

    As far as a cheap depanelizer..they are actually hard to come buy.. They sell so quick now. We picked up a Cab Maestro 4M at an online auction site for cheap(ish). Check out dovebid, xline assets, branford group auction for PCB stuff...
  4. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
    FreePCB has a step and repeat function, but it has the annoying feature that it will renumber all the components so that there are no duplicates. However, someone has written an add-on program that takes a FreePCB file and changes all the part designations to text. Once you've run that, you can do the step and repeat and the text just gets copied verbatim. I've used this and it works fine.

    The board house I use (Golden Phoenix) makes it clear that they will not panelize Gerber files: "Panelization of the multi-project panel must be done at customer side." But if you only have one project, you send them the Gerber files once, and they'll panelize and cut the boards apart for you, so you'll never know anything about it.