electronics made easy
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When using a custom PCB shape, FritzingFab calculates the area (and price) simply by taking the maximal dimensions (width x height) instead of really calculating the custom outline area.
This may be the right approach when the shape fills the maximal outline box evenly. But if a big area of the custom PCB area is empty, the price may be heavily overestimated, as in the manufacturing process, such an outline can easily be inerlocked with other PCBs.
It would be nice if such cases could be handled with upon submission of a project.
I see your point. However, the "easily interlocked" is not actually fully determined until after the batch of submitted boards is collected into a panel. This takes place long after a pcb is ordered and paid for.
Furthermore, the calculation is complicated because even with interlocking boards there will be space taken up by those boards that cannot otherwise be used--in other words the interlocking pieces are using up more area on the panel than would be accounted for by simply using the area of the custom shape itself.
So unless a straightforward alternative presents itself, we will stick with using the width and height of the bounding rectangle.
Thanks for the explanations, this totally makes sense to me to do it that way.
What about a small note on "http://fab.fritzing.org/fritzing-fab/pricing" explaining that the bounding box of custom shapes is taken for calculating the PCB area?