Front Panel Designer 4.0   What is new?
A new version of Front Panel Designer has been available since April 12. This version has some new features we would like to explain in more detail in this newsletter.

1. Mac OS X and Linux
2. DXF outer shapes
3. DXF inner shapes
4. DXF export
5. Snap function
6. Quadruple D-hole
7. More features for cavity in cavity objects

1. Mac OS X and Linux compability

We have made Front Panel Designer available for Mac OS X and Linux. We are proud to now offer our customers operating system independence.

2. DXF import for outer shapes

Front panels are no longer restricted to simple rectangles, circles, and ovals. Users now have the ability to import their own contour for the outer shape of their front panel. In the Front panel properties window select the option Free shape from DXF file as Basic shape. Panel shapes like the one shown in the below picture are now a quick file import.

3. DXF import for inner shapes

Not only can you import a DXF file for the outer shape of your panel, but you can also import files for cutouts and/or cavities. The following screenshot gives you an idea of how versatile this new function is. You can imagine the possiblities for prototyping and for parts other than front panels.

It is very easy to import a customized cutout with the new contour function. Just go to Insert and choose Free contour from the drop down, or click on the corresponding icon on the task bar. The picture below shows an example of an imported dxf cutout. You also have the possibility to insert your DXF shape as a cavity by checking the As cavity box.

4. DXF export filter

Front Panel Designer 4.0 has an integrated DXF export filter. In the previous version, Front Panel Designer 3.5, this filter was availble for purchase and it now comes as a standard free feature in the updated software. It is accessible under File > Export.

5. Positioning Toolbar/ Snap Function

Front Panel Designer 4.0 has a snap function for inserting objects. A new toolbar will pop up when inserting an object, cutout, contour, etc.

This new toolbar helps you to position objects. You can snap your inserted objects to the reference point of another object or panel perimeter.

How to use this new function: Select the object you would like to insert by clicking on the corresponding icon. Next, select the option on the positioning toolbar that best suits your positioning needs.

You have the following positioning options available:

Place object by using the mouse:
The inserted object will be placed where you clicked on the front panel.

Enter coordinates manually:
A dialog window opens Determine reference point, where you can define the position of the object you are inserting.

Place object based on a reference point of another object:
Place arrow over any existing object on the panel until its reference point appears.

Enter coordinates relative to a reference point of another object:
This option works according to the same principle as the previous option Enter coordinates based on a reference point of another object. With this method, however, you will be able to place the object relative to an existing object. A dialog box Determine reference point will open where you can enter coordinates.

Place objects based on the perimeter or center of the front panel:
With this positioning option it is easy to place an object on any of the nine major reference points of the panel you are designing. Hover over the front panel perimeter or the center to snap on it.

6. Quadruple D-holes

Front Panel Designer 4.0 offers not only simple and double D-holes but also quadruple D-holes.

7. More features with cavities

All cavity in cavity objects offer two new features:
  • Not only the inner radius of the remaining island but also the radius of the outer area can be modified.

  • The remaining island of the cavity can be moved within the cavity by entering offsets in either x or y.


Front Panel Express - 5959 Corson Avenue South, Suite I - Seattle, WA 98108
Phone (206) 768-0602 - Fax (206) 768-0679 - -