Some clients prefer merging more than 1 PCB in the same Gerber. You want to save money but this may make it hard cut the board outline. The most important thing is it will take much time to pick up and package the PCB. Although you just have an order, this complicates the fabrication of the panel and separation of the individual PCBs, and thence we usually charge more for this. Similarly, using holes or slots as break off sections between boards is treated the same way as putting more than a design on a panel with own board outline.
Note: The additional charge only applies if the PCBs on a panel are totally different. Boards such as image above on the left hand will not be imposed with any additional charge because they are easily to pick up but boards such as the image on the right hand would be imposed with any additional charge.
If you were just in the prototype phase and you wished to save your fund, then you could use the following approach. You can place your different designs all inside an overall board outline and use lines drawn in the silk layer to mark out the separate on the PCBs. Then, when you receive the PCB, you cut them carefully apart yourself (we recommend you do this before you assemble the PCBs!). It is like the PCB shown below. The yellow lines are drawn in the silk layers, showing how you can merge 3 different PCBs in a gerber without incurring any extra costs.
This will help you build a PCB Array to save your time by making it faster to solder the PCB in SMT.
- The V-cut line should be the same as the outline of the Sub-PCB. In other words, zero space is found between the sub-boards.
- The V-cut line can only be a vertical or horizontal straight line.
- The panel size of sample is required to be 70 X 70mm (at least to do v-cut process). The longest edge cannot exceed 350mm, while the width is required to be 55mm at least.
- The V-cut line must cut cross the whole panel or else the factory can’t add a V-groove on the PCB. It is because the milling cutter may destroy any sub-PCBs on the V-cut line. They cannot stop part way across the panel too. The V-cut lines shown below are not acceptable.
- The maximum of panel size with 0.6mm board thickness is 100x100mm.
- The maximum of panel size with 0.8-1.2mm board thickness is 200x200mm. (It will lead to more X-out in a panel, it consists of the risk of board to be twisted and broken off if the size of the panel size is too large.)
- The maximum of panel size with 1.6mm board thickness is 300x300mm.
- If you select the Edge Rails, the MARK and Positioning Holes will be added to the Edge Rails default, and local Fiducial Mark will not be added. If the panel is already provided, then no edges or Marks will be added again.
- If there are more than 5 designs in a panel, the panel size cannot exceed 200X 200mm.