When you’re working with PCBs and making single units to knock out in those Chinese fabs, going from layout to manufacturable Gerber files is just a few button presses, no matter what PCB layout tool you prefer. But, once you get into producing sets of PCBs that form a larger system, or are making multiple copies for efficient manufacturing, then you’re not going to get far without delving into the art of PCB panelization. We’ve seen a few options over the years, and here’s yet another one that’s looking quite promising — hm-panelizer by [halfmarble] is a cross platform Python GUI application, which leverages Kivy, so it should run on pretty well on most major platforms without too much hassle.
The tool is early in development, so is restricted to handling only straight PCB edges, with horizontal mouse-bites for now, but we’re sure it will quickly grow more general purpose capabilities given time and support.
In an ideal world, open source tools like KiCAD would have a built-in panelizer, but for now we can dream and hm-panelizer might just be good enough for some people. For more choices on panelizing, checkout our guide to making it easy, and just to muddy the waters here’s another way to do it.
Image Source: Hackaday