I need some help.
I am panelizing a number of small boards, (5 caps, two SOP16 packages). I'm using DXP and when I copy the second board, all the designator's names are changed. C1 becomes C1_1, ...the third board has designator's changed from C1 to C1_2... and so on.
Does anyone know how to turn this feature off? Or maybe it's best to move everything back to 99SE once again and do the work there?
What I usually do is design just one board but lay up the full panel (including tooling strips, routs (and breakoff tabs) or v-grooves, etc). So my mech layer 1 (renamed Board Outline) is a complex thing showing 2.4mm routs and break off strips if I am routing the panel, or lines crossing right across the panel (and tooling strips) if I am v-grooving. (In the case of a routed board with break off tabs, I place all the breakoff holes on all tabs - I then make a note to the PCB maker that the break off holes and Mech Layer 1 and possibly some dimension layers etc are not to be stepped and repeated, while everything else should be. The breakoff holes are easily identifiable, they are the only 0.75mm unplated holes on the board).
I fully dimension the step and repeat and then get the PCB maker to do the actual step and repeat. This works very well and I always have a fully checkable design.
This works a treat for me. (BTW - I set the DXP board shape to just the size of my single board, not the full panel. DXP users will know what I mean.)
(This method does not work when you are trying to panelise multiple different boards - in this case I would probably use the Camtastic method.)
Alternatively, use Camtastic to do the panelising. This is available in DXP.
The problem with panelisation in a CAE pkg is the problem of having two files to maintain - the individual PCB and the panel. In a fully panelised design, the panel is not really an editable files. I gave up on this some time ago as it was always tiresome and subject to risk. But if you really have to panelise in DXP use the same technique you have to use in P99SE, that is Paste Special then check the "Duplicate designator" and possibly "Keep net name".
There is a forum specifically targeting DXP users. It has lots of traffic and lots of Altium involvement.
Good luck, Ian Wilson
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