A few things to consider...
After doing all the editing and work-arounds required to panel within 
Protel, are your going to be able to get a clean DRC? Do you really want to 
do that amount of editing without one? What are you going to do when its 
time to rev the design? Are you being paid by the job or by the hour? In 
either case you probably have better things to do with you time.

In my view, if the Protel database contains the panel drawing and complete 
documentation, then the panel is being controlled by one source file. When 
we panel a layout, the 1up layout includes all the holes for the mouse 
bites, additional plane clearances, etc. The fab/panel drawing includes 
complete panel outlines including support bars and all routing. The fab 
house's CAM operators need only do a simple step and repeat.

If your layout is properly designed and the fabrication and panel 
documentation is complete, it should make no difference that the fab is 
being subcontracted. If you haven't already done so, try talking to your 
'new facility' and explain that EDA software is not designed for paneling. 
Let them know that the fab facilities are the paneling 'experts', they have 
better tools to do it correctly, and therefor can do it quicker, at less 
cost, and more reliably.

If your facilities still insist you do it, use Camtastic but do your 
documentation in Protel. Camtastic can handle the step and repeat with 
ease, and the Protel database will remain intact for future revisions!

Mark Koitmaa, C.I.D.
Certified Interconnect Designer
Tel: 408-369-7950
Fax: 408-369-7952

At 12:16 PM 8/16/2001, you wrote:
>Thanks Dennis and Mark. Wouldn't you know it: the first two responses are
>opposite!! :)
>It's being submitted to a new facility which subcontracts the PCB fab, and
>handles assembly. They indicated it would be best if I control the
>panalization from one source file, that way there is never a problem with
>the data for the PCBs, solder paste panels, etc.
>I usually submit the gerber for one board, and everyone "deals" with it, but
>in this cause I need to create the panalization details. (Not just
>instructions on how to panelize)
>Do others have this same requirement?
>I tried what Dennis stated, and on a 900MHz machine with 1/2Gig RAM, Win2000
>said it was "running low" on virtual memory? Huh? I thought it had a 3 Gig
>harddrive's worth of virtual memory? (That's the free space on my 20 Gig
>I'm thinking it might be good to add the support bars and mousebites in
>Protel, then panelize in Camtastic and just connect the board together...

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