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Some customers would like to merge more than 1 PCB in the same gerber. We know you want to save money but this may make it hard to cut the board outline and more importantly this will take a lot more time to pick up and package the PCB. Although by ,doing this, you just have the one order, this complicates the fabrication of the panel and separation of the individual PCBs, so we will usually charge more for this. Similarly, using holes or slots as breakoff sections between boards are treated the same way as putting more than one design on a panel, each with its' own board outline.
Note: This additional charge only applies if the PCBs on a panel are different. Boards such as in the left hand image below will not incur an additional charge because they are easy to pick up but boards such as in the right hand image would incur an additional charge.
What will be regarded as different designs?
Basically, if the traces/ silkscreen in your PCB is different, as long as it can be separated, no matter by v-cut, millings, or drill holes, it will be regarded as different designs. One more thing, sometimes, even all your PCBs look the same, but if there is no any connection to make them into one panel, and it needs to be sent as single piece, it will be also considered as different designs.
If you are just in the prototype phase and want to save money, you can place your different designs all inside one overall board outline and use lines drawn in the silk layer to mark out the separate the PCBs. Then, when you receive the PCB, carefully cut them apart yourself (we recommend you do this before you assemble the PCBs!).
Like the PCB shown below, the yellow lines are drawn in the silk layers showing how you can merge 3 different PCBs in one gerber without incurring any extra costs.