Complex Drill Holes
A really helpful feature would be the ability to combine simple shapes to make more complex cutouts. Most graphics software has this ability, and it would save a lot of time to be able to take a circle and a rectangle drill hole and combine them to make a keyway for a switch, for example.
Posted By: Mike Phillips on Dec 18, 2010 06:32AM Category: Whishes
Thank you for contacting us regarding Front Panel Designer.
You can indeed combine simple shapes to make complex hole cutouts just as you say. Simply lay out the shapes on top of each other the way you need them, select them all (shift+left click each, or left click and draw a dashed box around them all), then group them together.
If this group is something you will use repeatedly, you can left click on the group and save it as a named macro file for use later.
Additionally, if you have third party CAD or graphics software, you can draw the shape you need as a DXF, then import it using the Insert -> Free Contour function built into the software.
If you need any assistance creating a custom shape, feel free to e-mail us for assistance.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Dec 20, 2010 05:26PMReply
Hi Paul, thanks for the info.
I understand how this could be used to make larger objects out of smaller ones...but how could I actually cut out material from, say a circle?
I want a circle, minus a rectangular tab for the keyway...If I just group them, how will the software know to keep the tab for the keyway, since both objects are "holes" or negative space?
Posted By: Mike Phillips on Dec 20, 2010 11:20PMReply
Hello again Mike,
In our Front Panel Designer, use the "Insert" drop down menu, then select "Macro Object". A menu will appear on the right pane of the main software window (or a pop-up will appear in older versions of our software).
If you open the Standard folder, then Switches and Buttons, you will see several keyed holes available for your use.
Again, you can also use a DXF as I mentioned earlier, since you have experience with graphics software.
If all of that is not working for you, let me know and I can also show you how to use three D-holes to make a pattern for a keyed switch.
Posted By: Paul Birkeland on Dec 21, 2010 12:09AMReply
Stellar customer support!!
Unfortunately the dxf's I make in Corel and export arrive in front panel express distorted. They are out of round, and in some cases the size goes from 10mm to hundreds of mm's, just importing. I have no idea why. Just a standard export from Corel X5.
I will look into your suggestions.
I still think it would be great to have the feature to be able to combine shapes directly in fpe; this would also facilitate a faster library build-up for your client-base since it will be so much easier to do. Just my $.03.
Wanted to add: tried the D-hole; it fit my needs. Great,thx.
Posted By: Mike Phillips on Dec 21, 2010 01:28AMReply