I'd like to have a panel that is about 43" long and 12" wide fabricated from .062" (about 1.5 mm)6061 T6 aluminum, powder coated with filled engraved labels. Front Panel Designer won't allow anything thinner than 2.5 mm. Is this possible? Do I need to supply the material?
Posted By: arcture on Jan 08, 2014 03:27AM Category: Production
Front Panel Designer limits the size because of the way we hold the panel during the machining process.
This doesn't mean that we can't machine it. It depends on your design. If it is very complex we would need to use additional support in holding the part and would charge a setup fee. However, in most cases a simple modification is possible, free of charge.
All you need to do is to design it in 2.5mm and leave us a note in the box of 'Front Panel Properties' to change the thickness to 1.5mm. We will contact you prior to processing your order if additional charges apply.
Our aluminum alloy is 5005. We can special order 6061 for you if it is crucial for your application.
Posted By: DianeHaensel on Jan 08, 2014 09:15PMReply
I wish to provide a bezel to surround a keypad in order to display user instructions for function keys.
The bezel is 10.7 mm square with a cut out 8.2 mm square leaving a 1.25 mm surround to take about 3 mm square characters.
The smallest engraving tool is around 0.22 mm and this prevents me engraving such small characters.
Two solutions spring to mind being photo anodising or silk screen printing.
I can get these solutions as a post Express Front Panel manufacture however if you can provide such small markings, I would prefer having the total done by yourselves.
This is part of my Unikey product for which your panels have been very successful.
Comment would be most helpful.
Docwat (Edinburgh, Scotland))
Posted By: docwat on Jan 06, 2014 05:09PM Category: Production
Our sister company Schaeffer AG serves the European market and they offer digital printing upon request.
This sounds exactly like what you are looking for. Here is their contact:
Posted By: DianeHaensel on Jan 06, 2014 09:21PMReply
Very many thanks,
Posted By: docwat on Jan 09, 2014 10:46PMReply
I have spent hours trying to create a simple aircraft instrument panel the top edge of which has a profile consisting of two arcs: one with a radius of about 120-150 inches in the center 2/3, merging with one on each end with a 8.5 in radius. When I make the large radius arc (using the curved slot tool), the center is at the bottom of the grid, and the arc is at the very top, and when I move the arc down, the panel rectangle moves all the way to the top of the grid field so I can no longer see the top of the panel. How can I move the arc without moving the panel? Or move the panel back near the center so I can work on it? Or is there some other way to do this? How do I specify the coordinates of the center of the arc.
Posted By: arcture on Dec 24, 2013 01:52AM Category: Front Panel Designer
Don't use the curved slots. This is too painful.
You can import the perimeter from any cad program as dxf file. You find this in the front panel property window on top in the drop-down of basic shape.
It is way easier to do a complex contour with Auto Cad or whatever other software you prefer and import it into Front Panel Designer.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you run into any problems with the import.
Posted By: DianeHaensel on Dec 24, 2013 04:08AMReply
Thank you. After a few hours learning Sketchup, I was able to export a .dxf file of the outline of the panel from it (using a plugin) and to import the .dxf file into Front Panel Designer.
Posted By: arcture on Dec 25, 2013 02:57AMReply
I see that FPD allows for a hole with a 3/8" UNEF (3/8-32) thread to be cut into a panel. This is suitable for mounting potentiometers with no protruding threads or nut on the outside of the finished enclosure.
I often use C&K 7000-series miniature toggle switches. One mounting option for these switches has a 1/4-40 UNS thread (1/4", 40 thread per inch). I would like to be able to have a hole with a 1/4-40 UNS thread cut into a panel to allow the switch to be fitted with no external nut.
1/4-40 (and UNS for that matter) is not available as an option on the standard thread pull-down menus in the drill hole properties dialog box. However, I see that I can select "Manual thread parameters" and set diameter to 0.25" and the thread pitch to 0.025".
My question: Can a thread with this size and pitch be cut successfully by the milling process?
Posted By: desiato on Dec 18, 2013 06:45AM Category: Production
I apologize for the late response. You can certainly set the manual parameters to diameter 0.25" and pitch 0.025"
Front Panel Designer alerts you when you go too large with the pitch. It should do the same when you go too small but it doesn't. Thank you, you just helped me discovering a glitch in the software. However, a pitch of 0.025" works fine.
Posted By: DianeHaensel on Dec 23, 2013 10:20PMReply
I would like to be able to export an image (bmp, jpg, etc.) of the panel. I would use this as a texture for my native CAD model so that it looks complete. Right now I use a screenshot or the windows snipping tool to acquire and save the image. Then I have to trim it. If we could export an image that is sized to the limits of the panel that would be excellent!
Posted By: JFleck on Dec 16, 2013 09:50PM Category: Whishes
After receiving a new computer, all my previously saved macros are not easily accessible. Currently, I still have access to my old computer so I will be able to find what I need. However, we have other people in the department that may want to access a shared custom macro library. Is there a way I can define a location for these macro objects to save?
Posted By: JFleck on Dec 16, 2013 07:55PM Category: Front Panel Designer
Also Note: The macro object properties window misspells Category as "Catergory". :oops:
Posted By: JFleck on Dec 16, 2013 08:11PMReply
Unfortunately, we don't have macro sharing implemented yet.
However, all your custom macros are filed in one file in the installation folder of Front Panel Designer under FDlib. You can copy it from there and save it on your new computer.
You can also import older libraries by right clicking on your user folder in the macro side bar. This will bring up a menu with import function.
Sorry that this is kind of a hassle but thank you for pointing this out. It will go on my software developer wish list, including the typo ;-)
Posted By: DianeHaensel on Dec 18, 2013 03:29AMReply