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PCB 2x2?

edited May 26 in General

Hi,

the https://jlcpcb.com/ manufacturer is offering great entry prices for PCBs that fit within 10x10cm. The MiniMO PCB is very small, so it might make sense to create a larger design that hosts 2x2 MiniMO boards arranged in a way that can be broken into individual boards. Here is how people do that:

Unfortunately, my skill with Gerber documents is close to zero. Has anyone ever tried that? JLCPCB does five pieces for two dollars; that would be 20 MiniMOs for two bucks! One would cost literally ten cents.

Anyone up to the challenge? :smile:

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Comments

  • Update #1: the JLCPCB website offers this feature ("panel"), but it is pricey.

    Update #2: there is a tool for this, http://blog.thisisnotrocketscience.nl/projects/pcb-panelizer/, but I was unable to load the MiniMO gerber files into it so far.

  • This is one for the community -I've never tried panelizing PCBs myself.

  • I managed to make the Panelizer work and created a prototype of a 2x2 macro PCB:

    However, I see some strange corner-things (extra circles outside of the PCB) and apparently these are present also in the original Gerber design; this is what JLCPCB shows when I try to upload the PCB straight from the GitHub repo:

    Jose, do you have any idea what those "ghost" circles outside of corners are?

  • wow! good job! :)
    If I remember correctly they're registration marks which don't show up in the finished PCB. That's the actual file I use, anyway, so it shouldn't have errors.

  • edited May 25

    does the panelizer allow you to rotate the PCBs? if you rotate the left ones 180 so that the programming ports look outwards, you can use the four MOs together.

  • Yeah, rotation is possible. I will try to make a rotated design and upload it somewhere (or perhaps as a PR against your repo?).

  • PR, or send me the files and I’ll upload them myself, whatever you prefer. Either way, I’d be grateful if you could name the folder as Gerber_panel_2x2, to go alongside the single panel.
  • PR sent! This is how it looks right now:

    Someone will have to try to have this PCB manufactured to confirm that the panelization works :)

  • edited May 26
    merged! :smile:

    update: I placed an order and should get the PBCs in two to three weeks.
  • I received the PCBs yesterday. They break apart easily; you’ll have to sand them a bit to leave the sides smooth (about a minute of work with a file). I also assembled and tested a module and everything works fine, so - Success!! :)



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