Abdulrahman wrote
> The bottom line is that the photoplot people can panelize in seconds,
> literally. They do it all day, every day. If you must control the panel,
> then give them a dimiensioned drawing (which can be on a mech layer on
your
> original PCB file) and then tell them to step and repeat the other layers
> accordingly. If you make changes to your board, you don't have to change
> anything else....

Absolutely the way to go. A fab vendor is panalizing every board you do
anyway, even if you
only want separate boards delivered, they break them out of the panel they
created.
The fab house could not make any money if they did one ups on a 12x18 panel,
or your
boards would be pretty expensive. They do this like Abdulrahman said every
day all day.
All you need to do is provide the geometry of you panel to the fab vendor if
it needs to be
controlled for panelized assembly and test. We just added a sheet to the fab
dwg that defined
this panel. Also like Abdulrahman stated the only time you will need to
touch this panel
dwg again is if the board outline itself changes. This seems to me a whole
lot easier than dealing with
trying to merge whole design databases together. If you must be a little
more contolling yourself
the CAM software will step and repeat each file too just like the fab house
does but again why put
yourself through all that trouble, you will need to do this every time you
make a simple change to
the board.
Let the fab do what they are going to be doing anyway just supply them with
the
dimensions you want.

Robert M. Wolfe, C.I.D.
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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