Software to panelize PCB

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What is PCB Panelization?

PCB panelization is the process of arranging multiple printed Circuit Board Designs onto a single panel for manufacturing. By grouping multiple PCBs together, the production process becomes more efficient and cost-effective. Panelization software helps designers optimize the layout of their PCBs on a panel, taking into account factors such as board size, spacing, and tooling holes.

Benefits of PCB Panelization

  1. Cost reduction: By producing multiple PCBs on a single panel, the overall manufacturing cost per board decreases.
  2. Increased efficiency: Panelization allows for faster production times, as multiple boards can be fabricated and assembled simultaneously.
  3. Improved quality control: With panelization, it is easier to maintain consistent quality across all boards in a panel.

Popular PCB Panelization Software

There are several software options available for PCB panelization, each with its own features and benefits. Here are some of the most popular choices:

1. CADWorks Panelizer

CADWorks Panelizer is a powerful and user-friendly panelization software that integrates seamlessly with Altium Designer. It offers a wide range of features, including:

  • Automatic and manual panelization options
  • Support for complex board shapes and cutouts
  • Customizable tooling holes and fiducial marks
  • Real-time panel optimization and cost estimation
Feature Description
Automatic panelization Quickly generate optimal panel layouts based on user-defined parameters
Manual panelization Allows for fine-tuning and customization of panel layouts
Complex board shapes Supports panelization of boards with irregular shapes and cutouts
Tooling holes and fiducials Easily add and customize tooling holes and fiducial marks for manufacturing
Real-time optimization Provides instant feedback on panel efficiency and cost estimates

2. Pulsonix Panelization

Pulsonix Panel Designer is a dedicated panelization tool that works with the Pulsonix PCB design software. Some of its key features include:

  • Support for sub-panels and rotated boards
  • Automatic panel creation with user-defined parameters
  • Integrated 3D viewing for panel visualization
  • Comprehensive documentation and tutorial resources
Feature Description
Sub-panels Allows for the creation of smaller panels within a larger panel
Rotated boards Supports the rotation of boards within a panel for optimal layout
Automatic panel creation Generates panel layouts based on user-defined parameters
3D viewing Provides a 3D visualization of the panel layout for better understanding
Documentation and tutorials Offers comprehensive documentation and tutorial resources for quick learning

3. EasyLogix PCB Panelizer

EasyLogix PCB Panelizer is a standalone software solution that supports a variety of PCB design formats, including Gerber, ODB++, and IPC-2581. Its features include:

  • Automatic and manual panelization modes
  • Support for mixed board sizes and shapes within a panel
  • Customizable panel borders and tooling holes
  • Gerber and drill file output for manufacturing
Feature Description
Multi-format support Works with Gerber, ODB++, and IPC-2581 PCB design files
Mixed board sizes Allows for panelization of boards with different sizes and shapes within a single panel
Customizable borders Provides options for customizing panel borders and spacing
Gerber and drill output Generates manufacturing-ready Gerber and drill files for production

Factors to Consider When Choosing Panelization Software

When selecting a panelization software, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Compatibility with your existing PCB design software
  2. Ease of use and learning curve
  3. Support for your specific panelization requirements (e.g., complex board shapes, sub-panels)
  4. Output file formats for manufacturing
  5. Cost and licensing options

Compatibility with PCB Design Software

It is essential to choose a panelization software that integrates well with your existing PCB design tools. This ensures a smooth workflow and minimizes the need for manual data transfer between applications.

For example, if you use Altium Designer for PCB design, CADWorks Panelizer would be a natural choice due to its seamless integration. Similarly, Pulsonix Panel Designer is the best option for Pulsonix PCB design software users.

If you work with multiple PCB design formats, a standalone solution like EasyLogix PCB Panelizer might be more suitable, as it supports various file formats.

Ease of Use and Learning Curve

The panelization software you choose should be user-friendly and have a manageable learning curve. Look for software with intuitive interfaces, clear documentation, and helpful tutorial resources.

Some software, like CADWorks Panelizer and Pulsonix Panel Designer, offer both automatic and manual panelization options. This allows users to quickly generate panel layouts while still having the flexibility to make manual adjustments as needed.

Support for Specific Panelization Requirements

Consider your specific panelization needs when selecting a software. If you work with complex board shapes or require sub-panels, ensure that the software you choose supports these features.

For example, CADWorks Panelizer and Pulsonix Panel Designer both support panelization of boards with irregular shapes and cutouts. EasyLogix PCB Panelizer allows for mixed board sizes and shapes within a single panel.

Output File Formats for Manufacturing

The panelization software should generate output files that are compatible with your manufacturing process. Most software will output Gerber and drill files, which are standard formats for PCB Fabrication.

However, if you require other file formats, such as ODB++ or IPC-2581, make sure the software you choose can generate these outputs.

Cost and Licensing Options

Finally, consider the cost and licensing options for the panelization software. Some software, like CADWorks Panelizer, is available as an add-on to existing PCB design tools, while others, like EasyLogix PCB Panelizer, are standalone applications.

Evaluate the pricing structure and licensing options to ensure they align with your budget and business needs. Some software may offer perpetual licenses, while others may use a subscription-based model.

Best Practices for PCB Panelization

To ensure optimal results when panelizing your PCBs, follow these best practices:

  1. Minimize panel waste by efficiently arranging boards on the panel
  2. Use standard panel sizes when possible to reduce manufacturing costs
  3. Include appropriate tooling holes and fiducial marks for accurate assembly
  4. Consider the depanelization process and add perforations or mousebites for easy board separation
  5. Verify the panel design with your manufacturer before production

Minimize Panel Waste

One of the primary goals of panelization is to maximize the number of boards per panel while minimizing waste. Utilize the automatic panelization features in your software to generate efficient layouts, and fine-tune the arrangement manually as needed.

Consider factors such as board spacing, panel borders, and tooling holes when optimizing your panel layout. Aim for a balance between panel efficiency and manufacturability.

Use Standard Panel Sizes

Whenever possible, use standard panel sizes for your PCB designs. Standard sizes, such as 18″ x 24″ or 21″ x 24″, are more cost-effective to manufacture, as they minimize the need for custom tooling and setup.

Consult with your PCB manufacturer to determine their preferred panel sizes and any specific requirements they may have.

Include Tooling Holes and Fiducial Marks

Tooling holes and fiducial marks are essential for accurate PCB-Assembly/”>PCB Assembly. Tooling holes help to secure the panel during the manufacturing process, while fiducial marks provide reference points for automated assembly equipment.

Ensure that your panelization software allows for the easy addition and customization of tooling holes and fiducial marks. Place these elements strategically to minimize their impact on board space and to facilitate accurate assembly.

Consider Depanelization

Depanelization is the process of separating individual PCBs from the panel after assembly. To facilitate easy and clean board separation, consider adding perforations or mousebites to your panel design.

Perforations are small, pre-cut holes that allow boards to be easily snapped apart, while mousebites are small, arc-shaped cuts that serve the same purpose. Your panelization software should support the addition of these features, allowing you to customize their size and placement.

Verify Panel Design with Manufacturer

Before finalizing your panel design, it is crucial to verify it with your PCB manufacturer. They may have specific requirements or recommendations based on their production capabilities and experience.

Provide your manufacturer with the panel design files and discuss any potential issues or improvements. This collaboration can help to ensure a smooth and successful manufacturing process.


  1. What is the difference between panelization and depanelization?
  2. Panelization is the process of arranging multiple PCBs on a single panel for manufacturing, while depanelization is the process of separating individual boards from the panel after assembly.

  3. Can I panelize PCBs with different thicknesses on the same panel?

  4. It is generally not recommended to panelize PCBs with different thicknesses on the same panel, as this can lead to manufacturing issues and uneven solder joints. It is best to group boards with the same thickness together on a panel.

  5. How do I determine the optimal panel layout for my PCBs?

  6. To determine the optimal panel layout, consider factors such as board size, shape, and quantity, as well as the panel size and manufacturing requirements. Use panelization software to automatically generate efficient layouts and fine-tune the arrangement manually as needed.

  7. What are the benefits of using panelization software compared to manual panelization?

  8. Panelization software offers several benefits over manual panelization, including automatic layout generation, real-time optimization, and cost estimation. It also reduces the risk of human error and ensures consistent results across all panels.

  9. Can I output panel design files in formats other than Gerber?

  10. Most panelization software will output Gerber and drill files, which are standard formats for PCB fabrication. However, some software may support additional output formats, such as ODB++ or IPC-2581. Check with your panelization software provider and PCB manufacturer for specific file format requirements.


PCB panelization is a critical step in the PCB manufacturing process, allowing for cost-effective and efficient production of multiple boards on a single panel. By using panelization software, designers can optimize their panel layouts, minimize waste, and ensure compatibility with manufacturing requirements.

When choosing panelization software, consider factors such as compatibility with your existing PCB design tools, ease of use, support for specific panelization requirements, output file formats, and cost. Popular software options include CADWorks Panelizer, Pulsonix Panel Designer, and EasyLogix PCB Panelizer, each with its own unique features and benefits.

To achieve the best results, follow best practices such as minimizing panel waste, using standard panel sizes, including tooling holes and fiducial marks, considering depanelization, and verifying your panel design with your manufacturer.

By implementing these strategies and utilizing the right panelization software, you can streamline your PCB manufacturing process, reduce costs, and ensure the highest quality end products.