What's New

From Version 4.5 to Version 5.0.1

Innovations:

  • 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

Improvement:

  • 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

Innovations:

  • 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.

Improvement:

  • 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

Innovations:

  • 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.

Improvement:

  • Better graphical representation of the front panels.

From Version 4.4 to 4.4.2

  • Minor bug fixes

From Version 4.31 to Version 4.40

Innovations:

  • 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.)

Improvements:

  • 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 bug fixes.

From Version 4.30 to Version 4.31

  • Bug fixes

From version 4.21 to 4.30

  • 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 4.20 to Version 4.21

  • Bug fixes

From version 4.12 to 4.20

We revised the price calculation. Front Panel Designer version 4.20 reflects current pricing effective May 21st, 2013.

Innovations:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Improvements:

  • 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 4.12

Innovations:

  • 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.

Improvements:

Some minor bugs have been fixed. The most important of these are:

  • 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.

From version 4.10 to 4.11

Bug causing order system to crash when estimated delivery date crossed months has been fixed.

From version 4.02 to 4.10

Innovations:

  • 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.

Improvements:

  • 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 4.02

Innovations:

  • Objects can be moved in increments using the cursor keys.  

Improvements:

  • 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 4.01

Innovations:

  • 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.

Improvements:

  • 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.
  
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