When you’re working with PCB and building a single unit to knock out those Chinese fabs, just press a few buttons to go from layout to productive Gerber files, no matter what PCB layout tool you prefer. But, once you create a set of PCBs that make up a larger system, or create multiple copies for efficient production, you can’t go far without entering the PCB panelization industry. We’ve seen a few options over the years, and here’s another one that looks pretty promising – hm-panelizer by [halfmarble] This is a cross-platform Python GUI application, which benefits Kiwi, so it should run fairly well on most major platforms without too much hassle. The tool is in the early stages of development, so for the time being it is limited to handling only straight PCB edges with a horizontal mouse-bite, but we are sure that given the time and support it will quickly increase the more general purpose capabilities.
In an ideal world, open source tools like KiCAD would have a built-in panelizer, but for now we can only dream and hm-panelizer might be good enough for some people. For more choices about panelizing, check out our guide to make it easier, and here’s another way to do it just to dilute the water.