HPGL engravings

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For a set of gravure lines with a custom contour please first select Insert > HPGL engraving and place the object. In the subsequent dialog box "HPGL engraving properties", you can then determine your desired properties.

What is an "HPGL engraving"?

A HPGL engraving is based on a two-dimensional vector graphic, which consists of lines with a custom contour described in HPGL format. This vector graphic is engraved into the surface of the main plate.

The lines should be arranged so that their corresponding gravure lines create a certain number of separate "planed" areas. The spacing of lines, which together will produce a particular "cavity" must always be designed with regard to the geometry of the cutting edge of the assigned tool.

Because of the diverse ways of designing separate "planed" areas by the arrangement of lines or gravure lines, no import filter is capable of sorting useful from less useful solutions, meaning that, in principle, loaded HPGL files will also be imported.

The most important field of application for HPGL engravings is logos, which consist of lettering and surfaces with defined shapes.

Freely definable reference point

The user can also generate the reference point for his HPGL engraving as the junction of two additionally added short, mutually perpendicular line segments (of, for example, 5 mm in length).

The presence of such a feature is checked while importing and, where appropriate, this is interpreted as a possible reference point for the main plate. For further options, see the entry "Reference point" under the following heading "HPGL engraving properties".

HPGL engraving properties

After placing the object you can set the following variables for the required HPGL engraving in the properties dialog box:



HPGL file

Select the desired HPGL file from the suggestion list or import it from its location with the button "Import...". The original size of the object to be placed is displayed at the lower edge of the preview. Using "Scale" you can customize the displayed size without editing the HPGL file.

Pen assignment

When creating an HPGL file, each line must be assigned a "pen". In this dialog box you can now assign each of the pens both an in-fill color as well as a tool from the associated list boxes. In this case the List of object properties provides a good overview.

Reference point

You can optionally select as a point of reference either a) between 5 points of the rectangular outline of the object, b) the origin of the HPGL file, or c) the optional user-generated reference points created as crosses (see "Freely definable reference point" under the milling element Free contour). In case c) is chosen, a maximum of one pen per cross may be chosen, which is detected by the program in the lines assigned to it at the highest point.

Angle of rotation

Rotation angle of the HPGL engraving around its reference point.


Adaptation of the original absolute values given in the HPGL file for the dimensions. Please note: A reasonable scale is only possible to a limited extent due to the highly critical relationship between line spacing and tool geometry.

Place on reverse side

Set the check mark if you want the engraving to be applied to the reverse side of the panel. Please note that the engraving element appears mirrored on the reverse side. In Front Panel Designer, the front panel is always displayed and processed from the perspective of the front side.


Option of mirroring the HPGL contour on its vertical axis through the reference point.

Do not produce object

If you do not want to produce an HPGL engraving, but to place it on the front panel for information purposes only - for example as a marker -  then check this box.

Management of the HPGL files

All of the imported HPGL files can be selected from the list box for the duration of the session. Use the multiselection option in the import dialog box (hold downCtrl key and click the desired HPGL files one after another) to open multiple files.

When you close the front panel file however, only the HPGL files of the objects actually placed are stored, which will be displayed from the start when you next edit the front panel.

Rules for generating an HPGL file from a pixel graphic

Please consult our small manual with tips for generating HPGL files for engraving, which you can view or download from the Internet .

Service for converting pixel graphics into HPGL files

As a result of our years of experience with the transfer of pixel graphics into HPGL files, we can offer you a fast and effective conversion service. Please contact us for an offer, which in the vast majority of cases amounts to our competitive base flat rate. Once created, you can of course continue to use the HPGL file in the future without further charge.