Depanelization is the process of removing individual boards from a panel, after the boards have been populated with components. Traditionally, boards have been depanelized by breaking or cutting the the break-off tabs which hold the panel together. However, the mechanical forces (particularly bending) which can take place may weaken or damage the solder joints of fine-pitch SMT components near the board edges. This problem can be mitigated by using a milling machine to remove the break-off tabs.
The Depanelizer module allows you to easily and quickly accomplish the two specific tasks required for depanelization by milling machine:
Stackups with odd number of layers
It is now possible to define a multi-layer custom buildup with an odd number of copper layers. For example, to define a 3-layer buildup, start by defining a 4-layer buildup. Then, choose Omit as the copper thickness of one of the inner layers.
It is now possible to specify the outer dimensions of a panel. In this way, you can adjust the width of the outer frame to give the desired total panel width/height. The outer dimensions may only be adjusted after the Panelize operation has been executed.
It is now possible to place tooling holes and fiducial marks relative to the center of the panel. When specifying the X/Y distances, you can choose whether the distance is measured from the panel corner or the panel center.
Look and feel
We've given all modules a new look. Modules now have a more consistent layout, with parameters at the top left, info/help text at the lower left, and the graphical viewer's layer list to the right. Button bars across the top of each module give quick access to the most commonly used functions.
The graphical viewer has several status panels along the bottom edge, which display useful information. Click on the view mode or units panel to change the view mode or unit of measure.
It is possible to change many more parameters of a PCB product when creating a variant of the product.
Minimum copper to unplated edge clearance
Pressing the N key (with the mouse over the graphic viewer module while viewing a PCB product), highlights and zooms to the objects having the minimum distance between a copper feature and an unplated hole or contour edge.
The connection manager has been expanded with Ping and DNS lookup functions, which can help when troubleshooting connection issues.