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V-Score and Interal Routing - Free at Elecrow

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JonSea

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I was considering how to accomplish some stuff recently, and noticed Elecrow (one of the Chinese board fabs) has free V-score for one design on a board. I needed some long thin strips for mounting boards on a rail panel in an enclosure and also some smaller strips for using cable ties in same rail panel.

Taking advantage of free V-scoring, and adding internal routing, I came up with this panel. Three columns with 10 pieces each in a 100mm×100mm board. I got 300 of these pieces for $5!

If you have a small board with straight sides, you can get even more boards in a cheap batch.

20180731_142749.jpg
 

gophert

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I was considering how to accomplish some stuff recently, and noticed Elecrow (one of the Chinese board fabs) has free V-score for one design on a board. I needed some long thin strips for mounting boards on a rail panel in an enclosure and also some smaller strips for using cable ties in same rail panel.

Taking advantage of free V-scoring, and adding internal routing, I came up with this panel. Three columns with 10 pieces each in a 100mm×100mm board. I got 300 of these pieces for $5!

If you have a small board with straight sides, you can get even more boards in a cheap batch.

View attachment 113987
How do you tell them where to score?
 

JonSea

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In Eagle, there is actually a v-score layer. You draw rhe score lines using this layer, and then the score lines are shown on the Gerber mechanical layer. If I recall correctly, I had to make a few changes in the CAM file to make it work properly.

I always include a readme file, stating various special features of the board - v-score, non-plated holes, no traces on one side of the board. etc. - and listing the files included.

It is kind of amazing thst Gerber files result in the board you desired - I think there is some human intervention and interpretation to make it all work.

Elecrow's rule is that pne identical design pne the board, separated by v-scores, is no extra charge. You might make a lifetime supply of SMT adapter boards for five bucks.
 

JonSea

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A few pictures will help to clarify this. The first is a screen shot from Eagle. The black line is the board outline. The blue line is the milling layer, which represents internal routing. The pink lines are the v-score layer.

cable tie brd in Eagle - no label.jpg


The next picture is the GML - Gerber mechanical layer. It shows the internal routing and the board outline; I include the board outline on every layer to prevent any confusion. I may have done this incorrectly I just realized... I think the straight sides at the top and bottom of the internal routing should have been included on this layer to be completely clear.

Cable tie brd GML Gerber.jpg

The next image is the Gerber GKO layer. It shows the horizontal lines for v-scoring. Keep in mind that v-scores are a straight line all the way across the board.

Cable tie brd GKO Gerber.jpg

Showing both layers shows how everything works together.

cable tie brd both Gerber.jpg

V-score edges will be rough instead of smooth like a routed edge. For many applications, this won't be a concern. In Eagle, there are various tools to help you panelize a board. In this case, it was easy - I just laid out what I wanted. In the case of a real board, you can't just copy and paste as many copies as needed, because the reference designators will change with each copy.
 
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