we do this all the time for panelizing multiple designs or just
multiples of a single design. What we do is to completely define one PCB of
the panel, complete with route centerlines, and breaks for the tabs (no
route centerline for a tab). We then just copy the one complete PCB into a
panel, all the routing and holes for "mouse-bits" are copied at once. We
then save the panel under a different file name which indicates it is a
panel. Then if we change something we only edit the original single board
design and then recopy it into the panel outline. For editing and copying a
revised design, I usually mark some mechanical layer with a reference point
before deleting the old revisions from the panel. This just helps you get
things back into the panel again without having to figure out all your
spacing between boards again.
        One other tip, we typically use ACAD to do all the board outline
design. Then we can offset to get our route centerline, break that
centerline where we want a tab. Import the board outline into Protel along
with the route centerline onto a mechanical layer. If we wanted mouse-bites
then we add vias of the appropriate size in the proper locations. All this
is within the single PCB design and then gets copied for the panel, thus
panels are no more work then calculating the offset PCB to PCB and using the
paste special, copy array function to get each row or column of PCBs.

Brad Velander,
Lead PCB Designer,
Norsat International Inc.,
#300 - 4401 Still Creek Dr.,
Burnaby, B.C., V5C 6G9.
Tel. (604) 292-9089 direct
Fax (604) 292-9010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Friday, August 17, 2001 12:57 AM
> To: 'Protel EDA Forum'
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Camtastic or Protel?
> I had to try panelizing a PCB the other day, as I had to 
> connect all the
> power and GND lines upto a main connector on the panel, so that the
> boards could be assembled on the panel, powered up and tested, as well
> as burn-ins B4 breaking the individual circuits from the panel.
> I tried to do it using paste special command with all keep 
> net commands
> checked, but this took forever, and kept crashing, so in the end I
> unchecked the keep net box, but kept the keep designator box, and made
> the panel with DRC errors (I ran the DRC on the individual 
> PCB to verify
> everything was OK B4 panelizing).
> I then had to connect all the power lines through a couple of breakout
> tabs of the panel.
> This worked Ok, but I found it hard to set up all the mechanical
> outlines, for the breakout tabs, etc.

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