We work on projects in electronics, mainly by using PCB. Because PCBs are compact and more handy than conventional breadboards, we usually convert our circuits into PCB. But, when we need to order many PCB from any company, we can find it expensive and we may face a monetary issue. So, in this tutorial, we will see how we can create a PCB panel.
In this article I have taken example of IC555 LED Dimmer PCB
Step 1: Knowing basic dimensions of the PCB
First and foremost, we need to know the dimensions of the PCB we are going to panelize. For example, in the video, we will be using IC555 LED dimmer circuit PCB for this tutorial. This PCB has dimensions of 44.14mm x 24.51mm.
Step 2: Check the dimensions offered by the manufacturer
We need to check the dimensions the manufacturer offers for constructing a PCB. There is one more thing we need to understand. Here, we need to add supporting rails of 5mm on both the sides of panel. For IC555 dimmer circuit, width will be 90 mm when we duplicate the PCB once (5mm support on both sides will make it 100mm). Also, when we duplicate the PCB 3 more times, the length will be 100mm.
Note: We do not need to add the rails only on the left and right side of the panel. We can add the rails at the top and bottom of the panel as well.
Step 3: Panelize the PCB
We can use an open-source software for this, which is ‘Easy EDA’. After knowing our dimensions of the PCB, we should go in ‘Tools’ option and then click on ‘Panelize’. We can do this in two ways: Stamp hole & V-cut method. Stamp hole method is used for Odd-shaped PCBs, and V-cut method is used for Rectangular or Square PCBs. Now, we duplicate the PCB as per our design and add supporting rails, and click on ‘Apply’. Similarly, we can apply Stamp hole method by keeping a minimum space of 1.6mm between 2 PCBs.
Step 4: Upload the files
We only see single PCB even in the panel because it is done to keep the file size short. Then we need to upload the gerber file on the manufacturer’s website. And we will receive the panel of PCBs for the same price, deeming this transaction as affordable.