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Suppose I have a few different sets of Gerber files (generated from an external software package, say, EagleCAD) corresponding to different boards.

How do I go about panelizing them on Proteus (i.e., in this case, merging the multiple different designs) onto one panel prior to production?

I'm wondering if it's possible to also merge externally generated Gerbers in this way, as opposed to just Proteus's project files.

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There is a nice Python script called gerbmerge that does this with the raw gerber files. See https://pypi.python.org/pypi/gerbmerge/.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am a fan of gerbmerge's feature-set (including its automatic placement during panelization), and I think your answer will certainly help future readers. However, I am curious about Proteus in particular. \$\endgroup\$ – boardbite Jul 6 '14 at 3:53
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Unfortunately Proteus doesn't properly manage the apertures. If you have two designs, each one may have a different aperture with the same number, e.g. design A uses aperture 01 for 35 thou circle, but design B uses its 01 for a rectangular 30 x 50 pad. The Proteus panelizing tool seems to be meant to array a single design. I use Graphicode GC-PreviewPlus, but it might be out of your price range.

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There are special CAM programms used by PCB manufacturers for panelizing one or more designs. You may load the gerber files and drill files of the designs into such a programm, do some design rule tests, arrange the designs to a panel, use step and repeat, add some text, galvanic bars, registration drills and panel numbers. Finaly you can export the gerber files, drill files and route files for that panel. Of course each design may use different aperture tables and tool sizes for drilling. A common aperture table is generated for the panel and used for the export of gerber files.

http://www.graphicode.com/ is one provider of such CAM programms for panelizing.

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