You can export your design to Pentalogix "Viewmate DeLuxe" and panelize. It's a $49 product. I had used the freeware version to look for Ultiboard errors (thankfully they were extremely rare.) The freeware version does not allow you to create the full Gerber you need to send to the board house.
The very first ultiboard the (DOS) version you could export a block by selecting all then export as a block then import the block into the new design .
Say you had a power supply 15 v+ and 15 - that already had all the parts placed and routed , you could import the power supply from a next design unto the new design and it would rename the nets and parts as ( copy of R1, copy of net v+) and so on.
Or say you were building a stereo amplifier after you do the layout of the first channel you could copy and paste and the nets and parts would be renamed as a copy of the original net and part , i.e. IC1 , copy $IC1, NET bias, copy $NET bias , and so on ...
you could even reroute the board if you wanted and the copied board would get routed too.
In the new version of ultiboard ,there is no import or export of net list , no import or export a blocks, you could select an area of a PCB ,i.e. power supply then export the selected area as a block and name the block ( power supply 15 volts) then import as a block( power supply 15 volts) on to the new design ..
You could then merge the nets you want to merge i.e. ground , v+, v-
In the new version of ultiboard when you copy and paste , the coppied nets don't get rerouted when you run the auto-router , they get deleted ..
In the new version , I laid out and routed the first channel then copy and paste , then export the gerber.. see the attached file
when you export the gerber, export the BOM too
I bin begging for this feature to come back , this would save allot of time ..
Thanks The Scientist
If you notice in the attached file I put jumpers @ the end of the board so I can use jumpers to connect the other board ...
Remember to allow enough space between the adjacent designs for your cutting tool. Some board houses don't charge for cutouts.
Here is a process I have used, but it's more painful than I like:
This gives you a panelized set of boards that are all identical including the same refdes in the silkscreen on each image.
Any better ideas how to do this?
After you've done this once you might want to go evaluate the $95 (not $49) Viewmate for doing this in the future.
9up outline with 4 slot cutouts and breakoff perfs:
You should really do a video screen capture of the process.....why to easy to get lost in the step by step......
I wish they'd just implement panelization and be done with it.