BoardMerge- The command line single page PDF merge utility for PCBs

Toner Transfer Method.. is no doubt sheer Awesomeness. With just a few steps you can have your prototype in your hands without waiting for weeks for the fab house to deliver. Certainly relieves me of a lot of anxiety. I even made this Open Agitator a while back to help me ease out the etching process.

The command line single page PDF merge utility for PCBs

I usually (used to) print my designs on the glossy photopaper near my college where there is a usual hub of shops catering to student needs. Carrying the photopapers from my house to the college in the crowded metro would often crumble them. I preferred buying them from the local stationary shops near the college itself who would sell it at varying prices anachronistically.

The shop used to charge for a round of paper into the printer (actually one print) and if i printed multiple on the same sheet, if was charged more. As students we should cut costs. Further the several-times-on-a-page approach had more issues:

  • Printing on a sheet many times causes it to blacken due to the unhealthy state of drum on public printers
  • The shop keeper usually charges for a single round in the printer and printing many times added to the costs.
  • I had to always mark the point for the orientation of the print, else if the print goes the other way again, i can have the next file printed on the previous file , rendering the entire excercise useless. Actually that has happened twice πŸ™‚
  • You also need to set the no scaling option in Acrobat again and again.. duh..

Thats too much work specially after waiting in a queue to get to the printer !

I actually never thought of getting out of this circle for a while until the last few semesters, which were less academically demanding. I then wrote a small python script to combine all the pages that i used to print seperately to a Single page and then go and just print one pdf. No worries about messing up the orientation/scaling etc..

Well.. Why python when i could have used any photo-editing tool? Its simpler and automatic and I had once messed around the scale on a photo-editing tool and had to re-etch (just imagine) a whole board.

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