Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send other CAD data instead of a Front Panel Designer file?

Our CAD/CAM system works exclusively with drawings generated with Front Panel Designer. This way you only pay for actual machine time and material because you provide the milling data for our machines. Any other CAD data has to be transferred to the fpd format.

However, we can of course work with any other CAD data and transfer it into our Front Panel Designer format. We charge according to the time needed at a rate of 100 USD per hour for this service. Preferred file format is dxf. Let us know if you want a quote first.

What are the manufacturing tolerances?

Whereas the positioning accuracy of the machine tools is 0.02 mm, manufacturing tolerances of up to 0.10 mm can generally be expected due to tool wear etc.

If you are needing a connector/object to fit in a drill hole/cutout, then we recommend that you account for tolerance by adding 0.2 mm (0.3 mm for a D-hole) to the sizing so that it fits well.

Please refer to our Online help for further information. 

What materials can you machine?

In addition to various aluminum alloys, we are able to machine copper, brass and various plastics (e.g. acrylic, POM, ABS, PVC, PC, ...). We can also procure some of these materials for you on request.

It is unfortunately not possible to process steel and epoxy resins containing fiberglass.

How can I order a panel with UV-Printing?

From version 5.0 on, the Front Panel Designer supports all the common graphic file formats such as PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG or BMP. Once graphics are placed on your front panel, they can be scaled, cropped, moved or rotated as desired. You can check pricing and order with ease directly from the Front Panel Designer program.

At this time UV printing is only offered on our anodized aluminum. We do not provide the UV printing service on Powder coated or customer-supplied material.

Is it possible to choose other colors for powder-coated panels or in-filled engravings?

We are happy to procure many special colors upon request, both for powder-coated finishes and paint for engraving infills. Please enter the desired color (preferred in RAL code) in Front Panel Designer's "Remarks for production" section. We charge 70 USD for 250ml infill paint and 30 USD for 1 lb powder. We store the paint/color for you up to one year for future orders.

Can changes be made to an order after it has been placed?

This depends on the current status of your order in our production process and the desired changes. Please contact our customer service with your request of changes as soon as possible so that we can stop your order's progress.  Additional costs may apply once material has been cut for your order.

How to provide your own material for machining?

This is almost as simple as ordering material from us. You just have to make sure of a few steps:

  • Design the part to its exact size (your order will be delayed if we need to confirm dimensions with you once we receive your material.)
  • Check the box "use customer provided material" in Front Panel Designer.
  • Mark the reference point of your material.
    The reference point tells us how to set up the part. As the reference point of the machines is in the lower left corner, it is best to mark the lower left corner of your panel as well.
  • Add the 6-digit reference order from your order confirmation to you package and send to:
    Front Panel Express
    5959 Corson Ave S, Suite I
    Seattle, WA 98108
    United States

Once we have received your material, we will send you a revised order confirmation with scheduled shipping date. 

How quickly can you deliver my order? Can I speed up delivery?

Our standard lead time is 5 business days. Faster lead times are available for an expedite fee.
Lead time of 3 business days: 100% surcharge to standard pricing
Lead time of 1 business day:   200% surcharge to standard pricing

How can I place an order without using your ordering software?

Front Panel Designer's integrated ordering tool works offline as well. You can use it to place all your designs and accessories into your shopping cart and save it to your computer. The shopping cart file will also contain all your profile data (encrypted) and can be emailed to us. 

How do I request a quote?

In case the price breakdown in Front Panel Designer is not sufficient for your ordering process, you can request an official price quote from us.

To do this, click on "Request a quote" in the "Summary and ordering" tab in our ordering program. If you are unable to use Front Panel Designer, please email us your technical drawings or CAD files along with a request for a quotation.

What is the status of my order? When will I receive my panels?

The ship date is specified in your order confirmation.
You can also check the current status of your order on our website. All you need for this is your email address and the order number.  Our email with your order confirmation also provides a link to your order status.

Can you machine the edges of my front panel?

We can machine not only front and backsides but also the edges of a part.

In order to do this, a second Front Panel Designer file is needed. The dimensions of the edge need to corresponded to the part (choose a thickness of 10mm.)  You basically draw the top view of the edge and place your desired objects on it. Please select the box "customer-supplied material" for the edge file and make a note which edge you want us to machine. For example: "Right edge of file XXX ."



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Find more information in our online help or in our forum.

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