From Version 6.3.0 to Version 6.3.1
  • Inches are recognized as a unit for DXF imports
  • Crash when entering a leading decimal comma/ point in number fields fixed
  • Improved contour detection for DXF imports
  • Additional small-scale error corrections
From Version 6.2.1 to Version 6.3.0
New features:
  • DXF import: The outer and inner contours of the front panel can be imported in one single process; standard elements are recognised during the import and can be applied selectively; elements of the same type and size are grouped
  • New powder and in-fill colors have been added to the program
  • The program includes a scale generator (script) that can be accessed directly via the toolbar
  • During the DXF export of arcs with edge machining (i.e., rounded corner with bevel), the contour of the edge machining in the DXF file is no longer segmented
  • Groups: Elements of a group can be processed with their common properties without having to break up the group beforehand
From Version 6.2.0 to Version 6.2.1
  • Improved color display of engravings
  • Various small-scale error corrections
From Version 6.1.2 to Version 6.2.0
New features:
  • Drill holes and rectangular cut-outs can be converted into cavities and vice versa
  • The 'Edge sanding' option can be selected directly in the program for rectangular panels; the costs are displayed in the price calculation
  • Subsequently modified DXF files can be updated in the Front Panel Designer
  • On the status bar, it is possible to convert the units of measurement of all elements to millimetres or inches
  • Improved colour display for anodising colors, powder paints and engraving inks
  • The '3D view' window contains a 'Help' button
  • Various small-scale error corrections
From Version 6.1.0 to Version 6.1.2
  • Changed delivery times for large orders
  • Fixed a chance error in DXF displaying
From Version 6.0.1 to Version 6.1.0
New features:
  • Front panels can be saved as 3D models in a STEP file (*.stp) using the Export function
  • New stud and standoff types for higher loads are available for selection in Front Panel Designer
  • Improved display of DXF elements on the front panel in outline mode
  • Extended configuration options for the 3D view on the Options menu and via a new toolbar
  • In addition to text engravings, all other engraving elements such as HPGL engravings can also be optionally placed on the reverse side
  • Powder coating of customer-supplied material is included correctly in the price calculation
  • Various small-scale error corrections
From Version 6.0.0 to Version 6.0.1
  • Bugs in the price calculation have been fixed
  • Additional small-scale error corrections
From Version 5.1.1 to Version 6.0.0
New features:
  • Front panels can be displayed in a 3D view. The front panel can be observed from any viewing angle in the 3D view.
  • Brushed aluminium is available as new material in the Front Panel Designer. The brushing direction (vertical or horizontal) can be set for brushed material.
  • Revised 2D display with optical improvements and improved graphics performance.
  • Integration of the Front Panel Express webshop with the Front Panel Designer. All front panels can be ordered through the webshop in the future. The webshop can be accessed here: Front Panel Express Webshop Webshop Over the long term, this will replace the offline ordering program. But the ordering program can continue to be used as an alternative.
  • We revised the price calculation. Front Panel Designer version 6.0 reflects current pricing
  • Revised housing script with expanded choices for simple housing creation
  • Additional small-scale error corrections
From Version 5.1.0 to Version 5.1.1
  • Quantity based discounts for panels with customer material have been fixed and are displayed correctly.
  • Price calculation for panels with 'Underprint white ink on the panel surface' has been fixed.
  • Update notification for a new FPD version has been fixed to respect user setting 'Check for new version while starting' correctly.
From Version 5.0.1 to Version 5.1.0
New features:
  • New language added: The Front Panel Designer is now available in Spanish.
  • Upgrades for DXF elements:
    • DXF free contours display the original contour as a dashed red line in the preview window. This makes it easy to compare and contrast deviations to the milling contour.
    • DXF free contours with several closed contours can use a different tool for each individual contour. To this end, the contour is automatically split where required, the tool is adapted to the individual contours and the individual contours that are created are treated as a group. FPD files from Front Panel Designer version 5.0 and earlier are automatically converted.
    • Several errors that occurred when processing DXF files have been fixed.
  • Easier to select elements with more complex front panels: Press Ctrl + left mouse button to select and edit elements directly in groups. Press Alt + left mouse button to automatically select the smallest possible element (without the 'Please choose object:' pop-up appearing).
  • New printing options for front panels: It is possible to prime the entire front panel with white ink.
  • DXF cache in Front Panel Designer can now be deleted via the menu. Go to online help for more information.
  • The Schaeffer housing script that makes it easy to create and configure complete housings is now directly integrated into the toolbar in Front Panel Designer.
  • Depth offset with studs is no longer fundamentally restricted to 2 mm. This restriction is derived from the selected material thickness.
  • The previously selected directory in the open file dialogue used to import DXF, HPGL and graphics files is remembered individually.
  • Enhanced true colour reproduction on printed panels. The possible combinations of material colour, printing colour and selected 'Print white' options are more effectively displayed in the WYSIWYG view in Front Panel Designer.
  • Various bugs fixed
From Version 4.5.1 to Version 5.0.1
New features:
  • the embedding of graphics: digital printing is fully integrated in Front Panel Designer.
  • Print graphics can be placed on the front panel. PDF, JPG, PNG, BMP and TIFF files are supported. We recommend PDF.
  • As a new element, various properties of print graphics can be edited in FPD. It is possible to scale, rotate, crop, and mirror them. Click here for detailed information about print graphics on front panels: Online Help
  • new fonts: Asian with characters from the \"CJK Unified\" font, as well as monospace as a fixed-pitch font
  • We revised the price calculation. Front Panel Designer version 5.0 reflects current pricing
  • the Windows release is also available as a 64-bit version
  • standoffs/studs can be positioned up to 2mm deeper using offset
  • extensive revision of text engravings for full compliance with typographic rules:
    • text height is replaced by the font size as a dimension, which also relates to line spacing. Font size is treated in a similar way as in other programs (e.g. text processing programs).
    • vertical alignment can be on the base line or centrally (as previously).
    • the tool diameter is taken into account in cap height.
    • font size can be set in points 'pt'.
    • inventory parameters that will be amended as a result of the revision will be converted automatically, so that the milling result of old FPD files remains the same.
    • automatic tool selection for text engravings
  • the PDF export of the front panel can optionally also export the reference points of objects.
  • Print the front panel via File --> Print allows optional 'print as bitmap' , recommended for graphics.
  • small bug fixes
From Version 4.5 to Version 4.5.1
New features:
  • Non-produced elements are additionally available as drilled holes, rectangular cutouts, D-holes, curved slots and cavities. Non-produced elements are not taken into account in production.
  • Macro objects can be dragged and dropped from the preview directly onto the front panel.
  • By holding down the Alt key, non-produced elements are ignored when selecting objects.
  • Horizontal scrolling with the mouse wheel on the front panel is now also possible.
  • The window with the measured values can now also be docked and remembers its setting and position.
  • The front panel material color is set correctly using the scripting engine.
  • Snap points are also in the correct position in ellipses and the bevels of objects.
  • The display language in the Linux version can be set independently of installed system locales.
  • A number of problems with the Mac version have been corrected. The most important of these: Several display errors have been corrected, in particular when using the measuring function and when placing objects using snap points. Missing user macros are automatically imported into the macro list.
  • other minor bug fixes
From Version 4.4.2 to Version 4.5
New features:
  • Measuring function: The new 'Measuring' function can used to measure lengths and angles on the front panel. Measuring points can be selected freely as well as in the snap points of the objects.
  • Non-produced elements: Free contours and engraving objects (text, line, rectangle, ellipse, HPGL) can be declared as non-produced elements. Non-produced elements are not produced and are not taken into account in the price calculation of the front panel. In order to better differentiate them, these elements are displayed in blue.
  • Text engravings can be placed on the reverse side of the front panel.
  • Front panels can be exported to PDF format.
  • Better graphical representation of the front panels.
From Version 4.4 to Version 4.4.2
  • Minor bugs fixed
From Version 4.31 to Version 4.4
New features:
  • DXF files containing non-uniform rational B-splines (NURBS) can be imported and machined.
  • More accurate estimation of shipping charges are now possible through online communication with shipping carriers.
  • Sales tax exemption status can be selected during checkout.
  • To simplify the ordering process, it is now possible to attach files to either individual positions (e.g. blueprints) as well as attaching information pertaining to entire order (e.g. purchase orders.)
  • Files marked as write-protected cannot be overwritten and must be renamed when modified.
  • In order to prevent cavities from being created with a default value, they can now only be positioned when their depth of 0mm (new standard value) has been changed to a plausible value.
  • Cavities with raised areas, so called cavities with islands, have improved tool verification to ensure proper machinability.
  • Scripts can be started either from the file menu or from the command line.
  • Minor bugs fixed
From Version 4.3 to Version 4.31
  • Bug fixes
From Version 4.21 to Version 4.3
New features:
  • Selection of threaded studs and standoffs has been considerably extended (M2.5, M3, UNC#4 and UNC#6 now available)
  • 30° and 60° bevels are now possible
  • Several other minor bug fixes
From Version 4.2 to Version 4.21
  • Bug fixes
From Version 4.12 to Version 4.2
New features:
  • Epoxy bonded studs and standoffs. Currently only metric threads are available; standard threads will follow in June 2013.
  • Beveled and rounded edges on both the panel perimeter and cutouts of your choice.
  • We revised the price calculation. Front Panel Designer version 4.20 reflects current pricing effective May 21st, 2013.
  • New selection tool for objects according to type (e.g. text engravings, drill holes, etc.)
  • Execution of scripts. You can code and execute scripts based on JavaScript to control Front Panel Designer. This feature is currently still experimental. No guarantee is given for both functionality and consistency of API; however, your feedback is greatly appreciated.
  • We added a 'Request a Quote' button in the integrated Order Program.
  • Choose powder-coated finishes with chromated backsides.
  • Front Panel Designer now lets you choose when to machine each individual object; before or after powder-coating.
  • We added 'technical contact' as a third contact type along with 'bill-to' and 'ship-to' in the Order Program.
  • We improved the dxf import.
  • We fixed several small bugs.
From Version 4.11 to Version 4.12
New features:
  • Function to change the size of a selection or the front panel. Here an anchor point can be determined, i.e. a point which is not movable.
  • A front panel design from a previous version is checked for errors or invalid tools when opened on latest version.
  • Preventing the possibility of creating defective objects on thicker panels by inserting macro objects and system holes that use tools with thickness limitations.
  • Front Panel Designer crashed when the grid base was 0 and the origin was moved.
  • The menu bar disappeared on some Linux systems.
  • Several other minor bug fixes.
From Version 4.10 to Version 4.11
  • Bug causing order system to crash when estimated delivery date crossed months has been fixed.
From Version 4.02 to Version 4.10
New features:
  • Powder-coated finish now available in Panel Properties.
  • Supports thicker material: Thicknesses up to 10mm can be selected for powder-coated, raw and natural anodized aluminum. The possible tool selection is limited for thicknesses above 4mm, but this is taken into account in Front Panel Designer.
  • Front panels can now be exported as SVG files.
  • Minor bugs in the price calculation have been fixed: Current prices are based on version 4.1. The price of most front panels has not changed significantly. Pricing has been adjusted on counter-bore holes to be consistent with the price of a drill hole and cavity combination.
  • Entering equations in number fields: It is now also possible to use the functions sin, cos, tan, exp, sqr and sqrt.
  • Bugs occurring when using the polar coordinates in the positioning dialog box have been fixed (Function: move, rotate, insert object).
  • DXF files with Bezier curves are now handled correctly.
  • An issue with saving shopping carts on Windows has been fixed.
  • Several other minor bug fixes.
From Version 4.01 to Version 4.02
New features:
  • Objects can be moved in increments using the cursor keys.
  • DXF import improved.
  • Repaired bug that resulted in some defective files on a PPC-based Mac.
  • Improved speed of DXF export.
  • Removed error message on Windows programs when ordering directly from Front Panel Designer.
  • Delivery time calendar repaired to work across months.
  • Several minor bug fixes.
From Version 4.00 to Version 4.01
New features:
  • You can adjust your mouse wheel scrolling feature to either zoom or scroll. Use Ctrl key to alternate modes.
  • By holding down the scroll wheel of your mouse/ clicking on the middle button of your mouse you can pan your design in the workspace.
  • Further macro files for the macro objects can be added.
  • Project files from previous ordering programs can be loaded into the 4.01 shopping cart.
  • Several Mac problems have been fixed including launching the ordering program, placing orders, and problems with Mac OS X 10.4. (Intel).
  • Printing has been updated: The scaling is correct and printing custom page formats also works. PostScript files are generated with a higher resolution on Linux.
  • Exported DXF files in English or French can now be read by AutoCAD.
  • Menu shortcuts have been expanded and optimized.