Hi, I have designed a split keyboard (based on Lily58 design) and I’m trying to see if it would be possible to manufacture it via Seeed Fusion service (for others to buy from there). I’m trying to see how much it would cost but I’m confused about how should I prepare the design for assembly.
The first difficulty is that the design is reversible: a singe design is used by both halves, soldering components on opposite sides. I’m thinking that to have it assembled I would need to specify that half of the boards should be assembled one way and the other half in the opposite way. From Seeed’s documentation they mention that you could have “different designs” in the same gerber, but I’m not sure that is the case since the design is the same for both sides (only different assembly). From what I understand, the only way would be to panelize the design myself and then somehow specify different designators for each half, as they state here:
Am I correct that this is the proper approach? Or is there another way to specify different placements for the same design? If I have to create the panel myself (I could use the KiKit plugin), can I then modify the designators for each half of the panel in KiCad?
In more general question: do you think this is the right approach for PCBA in this case? Maybe the reversible PCB is a good idea to minimize cost for DIY manual assembly but if I have to go through this trouble for PCBA maybe the reversible part is only adding complexity (I guess the alternative would be to have a big non-reversible snappable PCB for the whole keyboard).
What do you think?