Splitting gerber files in two, but how-to ?

I'd like to have some PCBs fabruicated, the thing is that they are a bit larger than the cheapest at 10x10 cm. I could partition the project in two and keep two schematics and pcbs or do one and just "split" the gerbers and drill file. Of course I have to provide for ways of connecting both pcbs together but keeping one schematic/pcb seems simpler.
Which tools/tool would do the job ?

Comments

  • 8 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • That's not easy to follow ?
    Do you have a finished PCB, gerber plotted, you need to somehow slice ? 'Splitting gerber files in two' ?

    Or do you mean you have not started yet, and want to have one SCH map to two PCB's in one CAD file ?

    It's probably much easier either take a bit more time and pack it in, or just to pay a bit more for the panel it needs to be.

    That said, you can take one SCH to create 2 sub-panels, that's often done for complicated right angle, or display/kbd type mechanical solutions.
  • AleAle Posts: 2,351
    edited September 15 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That said, you can take one SCH to create 2 sub-panels, that's often done for complicated right angle, or display/kbd type mechanical solutions.

    could you please elaborate on that ? (my target shematic capture/pcb design is KiCad) :smile:

    It is not that all components wouldn't fit in 10x10, it is that I need it to be larger because it is mostly a keyboard, asymmetric, if not I'd just use two equal halves.
  • Ale wrote: »
    That said, you can take one SCH to create 2 sub-panels, that's often done for complicated right angle, or display/kbd type mechanical solutions.

    could you please elaborate on that ? (my target shematic capture/pcb design is KiCad) :smile:

    It is not that all components wouldn't fit in 10x10, it is that I need it to be larger because it is mostly a keyboard, asymmetric, if not I'd just use two equal halves.

    Works in almost any CAD pgm : you just create courtyards for each area, and where you intend to join them, via the cables, you have a choice of running rats nests, or using some layers NOT in the final designs.

    Where the CAD tools can report # unrouted, I usually put in some text in the tram lines, to remind me if editing later.


  • I have never tried such a thing but surely a board manufacturer will only make the area of board that is bounded by the board outline you have specified.

    So, can you make two copies of the PCB file and move the board outlines around so that one covers one half and the other covers the other half.

    Now create gerbers from those two board files.

    Assuming your PCB company does not reject such a mangled arrangement of outlines.




  • If you are using cost of fab against size as your deciding factor, then creating two separate designs that work in conjunction would be the wise way. If you want a single design for es of CAD use at the same time, then you could use GCPowerPlace to edit the gerber after the fact. At work, we use GCPowerplace for modifying gerber data to cut our own kapton stencils for prototypes and for laser cutting "PCBs" out of 1/16" acrylic to create physical fabs before real fabs are purchased (allows us to check mechanical part fit or aid in fixture design) Graphicode does have a free trial version of GCPowerPlace.
  • Gerber files can't be split like you think because the commands are not in order for such division.
    Probably you can take the final pcb design, mark the sub-pcbs on a new layer, and then copy the whole pcb file multiple times. Now take each copy in turn, and delete all outside of the section you require, and then make gerbers for the required section.
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  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    Gerber files can't be split like you think because the commands are not in order for such division.
    Probably you can take the final pcb design, mark the sub-pcbs on a new layer, and then copy the whole pcb file multiple times. Now take each copy in turn, and delete all outside of the section you require, and then make gerbers for the required section.

    Good point. When you "save" gerber with GCPowerplace, it is actually recreating the gerber based upon your edits so it still conforms to the gerber standard.
  • Thanks guys, I'm glad I asked. I'll keep two boards and two schematics. They are actually board and three schematics.
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