I just recently received an order for an enclosure using the housing profiles. Everything appeared to be excellent until I flip the panels over and noticed everything from scratches to rub marks. In most cases this turned out not to be a problem. However on an inner enclosed area to save money, I did the cavities on the front side, thinking I could simply flip them over when I assembled it. Well luckily I had opted to use counter sunk screws on the outer main panels, so this required that I did the cavities on the reverse side, thus saving the day.
Anyway I've had panels made before and never noticed such poor quality on the back side, nor have I seen anything mentioned about it in the FAQs or on this forum. Has something changed, or did I just get something that slipped through QC? As it turned out since this is only an issue with the flipped inner panels, it won't be apparent when the enclosure is fully assembled. But then again this was a very expensive project at nearly $1,400 and it caught me by surprise.
So I guess my bottom line question is: Are there no guarantees on the finish quality for the panel back side, and/or is there an option to specify that both sides of the panel should have a high quality finish?
Posted By: Michael St. Pierre on Sep 10, 2012 08:21AM Category: Production
Thank you for letting us know that there was a problem with your last order. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a high quality finish of the back side of anodized material. It is mentioned on our product site. The reason is that we only receive our raw material only with a protection film on the front side. Having both sides with a high quality finish would raise the cost dramatically and we would need to pass it on to or customers.
However, we try our best not to add additional damage to the backside during the machining process. Excessive or deep scratches on the back side lead to rejection in our QC process. So your parts must have slipped through. My apologies for that. Please feel free to contact us. I am sure we can make it up to you with your next project.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Sep 10, 2012 08:02PMReply
Thanks for the link, and yes it shows quite clearly that the back side quality is not guaranteed.
The scratches I saw were not deep, but they are obvious, as well as what appears to be rub marks. I guess in my past projects it was just the luck of the draw that I received panels with a high quality back side finish.
No need to apologize. I just should have paid better attention when I was reading your website. Anyway it's the outside that counts, and as can be seen in the photo below the quality is superb.
Posted By: Michael St. Pierre on Sep 12, 2012 03:23PMReply
Is there a recommended minimum spacing to use between rectangular/circular cut outs?
I have a few rectangle cutouts to place next to each other and want to make sure I'm not putting them to close together to avoid any problems during/after cutting.
Posted By: Shaun Ortolano on Sep 08, 2012 05:13PM Category: Front Panel Designer
Also, is there a size limit to how large a panel can be? Is 29" x 9" doable?
Posted By: Shaun Ortolano on Sep 08, 2012 05:19PMReply
I can't give you a clear answer about the spacing. It depends on both the material thickness and the size of the cutouts. In case the cutouts are small, like 25mm (1"), you can place them pretty close to each other. I would recommend something in the area of 2mm (0.08") as remaining material in between. However, when you have longer cutouts, like >100mm (4") with a material thickness of 2mm, I would give it at least 5mm (0.2") in between.
If the cutouts get too long and too close, the remaining material in between starts to vibrate during the machining process. This results in a finish with chatter marks. The good thing is that you don't have to worry about it too much. Each submitted Front Panel Designer file gets checked by us for machinability. We contact you if we see concerns and your order is placed on hold until we are able to go over those concerns with you.
A panel size of 29" x 9" is doable in thicknesses of >2mm. Maybe even in 1.5mm but I would need to see your design to confirm.
In general, the largest panel size that fits on our machines is 46" x 34.25"
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Sep 11, 2012 01:35AMReply
hi, i have a black panel...and i would like to write black text on top of a white box on the panel.
ive made a white box. and the black text. but how do i choose which is going to be printed on top of the other? ie. so how do i choose which goes to the forefront ..where is the "foreground"..."background" setting for the box and text. At the moment i am unable to bring the text to the front. i would not want the panel to come back and there be a blank white box there wit the text hidden underneath
Posted By: Black Out on Aug 18, 2012 05:59PM Category: Front Panel Designer
Graphics in Front Panel Designer work a little different than in other design software.
You can't define layers since the images are not printed. All engravings are on the same layer and you would need to isolate the text from the background with a lip. This ensures that the infill paint of each area doesn't run into an other.
Our logo is a good example for it. Click here to have a look. The letters are embossed and show the aluminum color. Only the background is engraved and infilled with paint.
The last image on this page shows white infilled letters (the word Danger) on a red background. The associated hpgl design includes a lip between the red and white infill area.
More info about hpgl design can be found here.
Please let me know if you need help with your design. We offer a hpgl design service.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Aug 20, 2012 07:58PMReply
I was wondering if it is possible to get the housing profiles in something other then Natural or Black anodized?
In my upcoming project I am looking at creating an internal box within the main enclosure. The main enclosure will be black, but I was thinking of making the internal box out of gold anodize paneling. I will be using two Housing Profile#1's as part of this internal box. It would be great if they too could be gold anodize to match the panels. Is this possible? And if so, what would be the extra cost?
Posted By: Michael St. Pierre on Aug 17, 2012 07:17AM Category: Production
Unfortunately we don't have an in-house anodizing process. The raw material of the housing and side profiles comes only in black and natural.
We can powder-coat the profiles for you but it wouldn't match gold anodized aluminum.
Thank you for inquiry. I will check with our supplier and see if this is something we can implement in the future.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Aug 17, 2012 10:23PMReply
I have an older partial panel that I would like to replace as is. Could I just send that partial panel in to you and have you make me one just like it?
Posted By: Rolf Grandstaff on Aug 14, 2012 03:15PM Category: Front Panel Designer
Yes you can send the partial panel in to us and have us design the Front Panel Designer file for you. We charge an hourly fee of $80 for this service.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Aug 17, 2012 10:03PMReply
Hi all I do a front panel via Adobe Illustrator and I would want to import in FrontDesign for factoring.
It seems to be not possible !!! does anyone have an experience for Importing ?
Thanks by advance
Posted By: Ritchie Ritchie on Aug 08, 2012 05:59PM Category: Front Panel Designer
You can import dxf and hpgl files.
The hpgl import (file extension plt) is for engravings but can be also used as a design layer to compare your existing Adobe Illustrator file to Front Panel Designer. Check out our tutorial about hpgl imports
I hope that helps.
Posted By: Diane Haensel on Aug 09, 2012 02:18AMReply