I have a panel to be made soon for which the exposed raw aluminum at the cut edges is unacceptable, so we will need to get them anodized afterward. So I selected the raw aluminum material in the software and was warned that you do not guarantee surface condition.
Is the condition going to be good enough that I can buff out imperfections before anodizing, or am I better off ordering an anodized panel and having it stripped and re-anodized afterward?
I don't need a polished surface, my buffing would end up with a brush finish if that makes a difference.
Thanks in advance,
Posted By: Ed Heitzman on Jan 12, 2010 08:40PM Category: Production
It's better to go with anodized aluminum. The anodizer needs to etch the aluminum anyway, no matter if raw or already anodized. However, the etching wouldn't remove potential surface scratches of raw aluminum, whereas our pre-anodized material guarantees a scratch free surface.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Jan 15, 2010 03:31PMReply
Hi, I've recently downloaded the software and done a few trial runs of the FPE software and am more than impressed.
Since this is particular section is wish list I'd like to ask that purple or violet infil colour and/or anodisation be considered for possible future inclusion. This has become a standard colour for greywater systems and it's inclusion would please one of my customers.
Posted By: David Sawtell on Jan 12, 2010 03:03AM Category: Whishes
This inclusion is a possibility. You can purchase the individual colors for $70 per 250ml. We keep the paint in stock for one year and use it only for your projects.
Posted By: Leland Savage on Jan 29, 2010 02:27AMReply
It will be of great aid to have a layer that can be hidden or visible that will not be used in the design by Front Panel, but will be used by designer for various uses.
Example of use:
To add comments or part numbers, instructions of functions etc, This can be used in the documentation for the design.
Posted By: Jorge de la Paz on Jan 02, 2010 04:02AM Category: Whishes
Thank you for your suggestion. I think this would be a really useful function for a lot of FPD users.
I will discuss this with our software development.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Jan 05, 2010 04:56AMReply
Particularly useful, in this vein, would be some dimensioning tools.
Posted By: Matt Watkins on Apr 12, 2010 11:34PMReply
The easiest way to add this function might be to add tools to the tool selection menu such as "comment 0.2mm" which would draw like "engraver 0.2mm" but be ignored by the milling and pricing programs.
I really want to be able to show existing features of ready-made parts I send you to work on, both for my design purposes and for the sake of making it clear how the part gets loaded in the milling machine.
Posted By: KEVIN LOVINGOOD on Apr 21, 2010 04:15PMReply
Thank you for your suggestion. I think that would be a valuable feature for many of our customers. It would also help us to determine the reference of customer provided material in a more efficient way.
Thanks again, I'll let our software developer know.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Apr 22, 2010 12:39AMReply
I agree a non-design layer (layout layer) would be very helpful. I currently have to create several versions of the same drawing and add "engraving objects" so I can either get a feel of the look of a layout without holes and so forth and to visualize placement of hidden components/objects and outline behind the front panel
should be somewhat simple
(1) create a non design or "Ref layer"
(2) user right clicks on any object
(3) click "Ref Layer"
(4) likewise an object can be moved back to the "Design Layer" with a right click. Maybe Alternate action on object between the two layers.
Posted By: Jeff Wilson on Jul 10, 2010 05:41PMReply
Hello Jeff et al,
I completely agree with all of you that a reference layer is a neat idea. I know it comes in really handy for me when working with CAD software to design PC boards. The biggest issue for me is the "what you see is what you get" quality to our software. For a reference layer, we would have to come up with a creative way to make it extremely obvious that what is seen will not be milled into the panel.
In my own past experience, I would leave my reference items grouped together, then mirror them across the origin (horizontally) when I needed to move something, then move them back. Right before placing my order, I would remove the reference objects, save a _final version, and order that.
I think maybe this should be an option that takes some effort to activate? What do you all think?
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jul 12, 2010 06:48PMReply
Most of my front panels have a PC board on the underside. The one I am presently working on has LEDs and 7-segment displays which protrude through the front panel and have pins which will be inserted into the PC board. A non design layer would be God-sent. I presently print the front panel design and draw the PC board on it, avoiding switches and other front panel objects. I would welcome such a layer where I could hopefully group objects from this layer to the front panel drawing. I would like to be able to print the layers combined and separate. Thank you. Larry
Posted By: Larry Smith on Jan 23, 2011 08:47AMReply
Up until the time that we are able to integrate this idea into our software, here is an idea for you.
Generally the PCB production files can be converted into .plt plotter files, and these files can be imported into our software. With the PCB artwork temporarily laid out in Front Panel Designer, it becomes much easier to position elements with confidence.
I have also used the print function, as many PCB cad software packages also have the 1:1 printout option, and laying the two over each other on a light table allows for quick verification.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Jan 24, 2011 05:13PMReply
-If nothing else, it would be very helpful to get an option to include an "outline" to macro parts that you don't have to go in and delete before production. We place and use a lot of mil-style connectors.. so a big center hole, 4 corner holes.. but there is a flange sticking out from the corner holes, so if I make the Macro just as 5 holes.. placing 80 of these connectors on a front panel while ensuring that the flange spacing is appropriate, suddenly gets challenging. What we/I do is draw in an outline on the macro part, then lay out the panel, then go through and delete all the outline engravings.. which takes a lot of time.
Posted By: Kjell-Edmund Ims on Feb 24, 2011 07:18PMReply
After another year, this thread deserves a good bump.
A non-machined design layer would really help.
Posted By: Chris Knudsen on Feb 23, 2012 10:34PMReply
I just wanted to vote again for a non-design layer (layout layer) for printing and documentation that can be printed, but is never machined.
If you polled users I think this would be the number one new feature that we'd like you to add as soon as possible.
Thank you very much!
Posted By: Joe Torre on Jun 29, 2012 04:48PMReply
I pushed this feature to a higher priority on our IT todo list.
Thank you for mentioning it again.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Aug 02, 2012 10:44PMReply
Just like Punxsutawney Phil, every February I emerge to ask about a notes/non-machined layer.
Oh look... Nope, my mistake. Yet another year and still nothing new.
Posted By: chriskner on Feb 28, 2013 09:12PMReply
I just wanted to add my voice to the group calling for this feature and to bump the thread *again*.
Posted By: EvanFoss on Jun 07, 2013 05:32PMReply
Oh FSM, why does this not yet exist?
Shall I grow moldy and stale before we're graced with this functionality?
Posted By: chriskner on Oct 17, 2014 05:22PMReply
I am receiving the following error when trying to create a new Macro object.
Can you provide any suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong?
Posted By: Landon Solomon on Dec 31, 2009 03:40PM Category: Front Panel Designer
I would like to check your fpd file. Can you please email it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know which objects you were trying to group as a macro?
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Jan 05, 2010 01:17AMReply
So I went to use FPD this morning and I can not use the copy or cut command without an access violation message popping up in German.
I have rebooted, removed, rebooted again, reinstalled, and I still can not get the FPD program to behave.
Does anyone know how to fix this problem?
Posted By: Nick Podolak on Dec 30, 2009 04:18PM Category: Front Panel Designer
I am sorry for the inconvenience you have encountered with FPD.
Our IT people are already informed and I will let you know as soon as I hear back.
Could you please give me details about your operating system and the access violation (Zugriffsverletzung)?
Again, we apologize for this problem.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Dec 30, 2009 08:42PMReply
I have a Mac, so I am running FPD in a Windows XP virtual machine using VMWare Fusion. The OS is up to date.
Sometimes I get the Zugriffsverletzung access violation and sometimes I get the Ausgewahlter error message that loosely translates to "you selected the wrong printer".
Having gone back into the program on this PC I have realized that I can not place a new object either, I can select the tool but when i click to place nothing happens. Previously I was just trying to modify an existing drawing and hadn't noticed.
Posted By: Nick Podolak on Dec 30, 2009 10:32PMReply
It has something to do with the printer. When you copy something, you automatically generate a wmf file on the clipboard. This wmf file uses some printer settings. Since you probably don't have a printer installed on your virtual machine, it won't let you copy.
The next version of Front Panel Designer will have a better solution for that. In the meantime we suggest to install just any standard printer on your system. Copy and paste should work then.
Thank you for pointing that out. And again, we are sorry for the inconvenience.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Jan 05, 2010 01:28AMReply
I changed my default printer to a different unit and the copy paste functionality has returned.
Posted By: Nick Podolak on Jan 06, 2010 04:49PMReply
My copy of the software installed in what looks to be German. I did select English (US) during the install. Any suggestions on how to correct this?
Posted By: Landon Solomon on Dec 22, 2009 08:35PM Category: Front Panel Designer
We apologize for this inconvenience. A customer of our sister company in Europe experienced just recently the same problem. Here is what was suggested in their forum.
I am sorry, that you have this problem. Is it possible, that you launched the FPD the first from the setup as another user? If you start it the first time as a new user it doesn't find the language settings and falls back to the standard language (which is German). I admit, that this is not a very good behavior and will be changed in the next version.
For now you have to change the language for every user manually. So please to the following steps:
* Start the FPD
* Press Ctrl+E
* Click on "Global"
* There you have a drop down box "Sprache" where you could choose your language.
Please let me know if it worked.
Please let me know if you have any problems to navigate through FPD to find the language setup.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Dec 22, 2009 11:21PMReply
This was exactly the solution I needed. I had logged in as administrator to install the program.
Posted By: Landon Solomon on Dec 30, 2009 05:21PMReply