We’re currently having trouble with the auto penalisation feature of FAB3000. It doesn’t seem to panelise boards even when they should fit. Could you please have a look at this problem for us? The workspace with the boards is attached.
The panel size we are using for these boards is 10.6" x 14.5" and the spacing 0.2”.
Thanks for the quick response. The automatic panel placement maximum is about 25 different jobs, and your workspace looks like it has about 40 pcb's.
Note: Most companies will merge at max 5 or 6 PCB's on a panel, however I can see how a University would need to merge a large number of PCB's. We'll make it a priority to handle up to 500 different PCB's on a panel, and have an update ready within a few weeks or less. You may also want to check out our Matrix files -- many large groups use it to automatically load large amounts of PCB's and automatically place them on a panel. There's a sample matrix file called "panel.fm6" that you can review. Here's a forum link:
However there's several workarounds for an immediate solution:
1. Manual Placement (Snap and Add Insert):
Since your PCB's all appear to be the same dimensions, you can set a grid which includes the spacing and then add each PCB into the panel. Here's a movie showing me first set the grid and then add PCB's. It would take less than 5 minutes to place all 40 PCB's (if you start from scratch).
Note: Whatever you see in the FAB 3000 screen will be exported to Gerber, so you can actually shift, rotate, and move each PCB job to fit perfectly.
2. Manual Placement (Array):
Since your PCB's all appear to be the same dimensions, you can easily array one PCB, and then go back a change the Job name using Properties...
Note: To make things work with Array, the origin of each job should be the same (i.e. lower-left corner). I notice some jobs do not have the origin in the lower-left.
3. Sub Panels:
Consolidate 4 to 8 PCB's on one Job and then insert the job onto the panel. Lowers the total number of Jobs to about 10, and then use Auto Panelize Wizard.
Lastly, version 7.4 is over a year old, and we've made some significant updates since that version. When you have an opportunity I'd definitely recommend you try the new version. Here's the history log: