Outline as free contour

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The ‘Free contour from DXF file’ option allows you to generate front panels with any outer contour. This opens up a variety of possibilities for front panel design and is particularly suitable for constructing machine elements.

To specify the DXF file format, see Free contour as a milling element.

Please note, it is also possible to import the entire DXF file in one action: Create a new file from a DXF file

Inserting a DXF outer contour

How to create a front panel with an individual outer contour using a DXF import:

1. Create a new front panel and select ‘Free contour from DXF file’ as the basic shape.

2. Click ‘Import DXF file’ and select the required file. The outer contour is displayed in the preview.

3. Select a material thickness and specify further settings if necessary.

You can use the ‘Update’ button to transfer any subsequent changes made to the DXF file to the front panel file.

For a description of the procedure for a DXF inner contour as well as explanations on possible errors in the DXF import, see free contour as a milling element.

Note: The DXF import for inner and outer contours are two different processes. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to import the entire panel at once.

Detailed step-by-step instructions for the DXF import of outer and inner contours are provided here as a manual in PDF format.

Reference point of the main plate with a free contour

As the coordinates of the origin are always calculated from the reference point of the main plate, this has great significance for the exact placement of the objects.

The (non-rotated) rectangle with the smallest area which envelops the first closed line in the imported file is determined. The lower left corner of this rectangle is taken as the reference point for the main plate.

If – in addition to the closed lines – the DXF file also includes an intersection between two separate short lines, this is not taken into account.

Specification of the free contour vector graphic for the outline of a main plate

Once a DXF file has been selected for the main plate outline, the closed line which is first in the file is used. All of the other lines will be ignored as well as any specific reference points which may be set in the file.

General requirements, which a vector graphic in DXF format has to comply with in order to be read in by "Front Panel Designer" are explained in detail in the chapter Free Contour as a Milling Element.

In the dialog box File > Front panel properties, all of the DXF files imported during the current session are available in principle for selecting the basic shape of the main plate. Additional DXF files can also be added to the selection at any time.


Please note that the same restrictions basically apply to the production of free contours as do to certain milling objects, particularly with regard to the corner radii or longer sections with a small aperture angle. Especially with large main plates, certain features can result in longer milling times which significantly affect the price.