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Getting an idea for a product or invention is a wonderful first step - but making it a reality is daunting by comparison. Thankfully, there's never been a better time to be an independent or hobbyist inventor. With a plethora of free and low-cost tools and software at your disposal, just about anybody can make that lingering concept a reality.

At Front Panel Express, we provide best-in-class support and machining for companies large and small. With zero minimum batch requirements and complimentary design and cost estimation software, we're the perfect solution for students, independent engineers, and part-time inventors. For those who have yet to embark on their first enclosure design experience, this guide is for you.

Choosing an Enclosure Type                                                         

While every enclosure is as unique as your project itself, Front Panel Express helps keep things simple with friendly, free software in Front Panel Designer, a comprehensive Enclosure Assembly Manual, and available design templates

Enclosures come in two varieties: those with side profiles and those with housing profiles. 

Enclosures with Side Profiles 

Designed with two side profiles, this enclosure type allows for access to internal components from multiple angles. These comes in set heights of 42mm or 56mm and are standardized for 19-inch enclosure racks.

Enclosures with Housing Profiles

Enclosures that incorporate housing profiles in their design provide much more flexibility, allowing for multiple heights and custom options for each enclosure side. 

Next Steps

Once you've settled on a template or enclosure type, you're ready for the design process. Download Front Panel Designer here and follow the installation instructions provided.

Next, you'll want to begin with a new project and choosing the dimensions and shape. Here, you can choose material type and color as well as any edge machining you'll need. You can also leave notes for our machinist so you get the best possible result from your design project.

From there, the straight-forward interface can allow you to create cuts as needed, including system holes and typeface options for custom labelling.

Once you've settled on a design, you can check Pricing for the cost estimation of your project. The ordering and payment processing is included within Front Panel Designer and once your order is received, our machinists will get to work making your concept a reality. Most orders are completed and delivered with 5 business days, but rush processing is available for last-minute projects. 

Ready to get started? Download Front Panel Designer and Like us on Facebook to see some of our previous customers' work. We can't wait to see what you create!