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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Frontplate design software
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the19thbear



Joined: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 112
Location: denmark

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Frontplate design software Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What do you use?

Im going to design front plates for my eurorack system.
I would love some program that has pots, switches etc with all the right drill hole diameters etc for each front plate component, and if possible, simple text editing capabililtes (to make text for the frontplates).

Does that even exist?
And are there any free alternatives?

After designing the front plates i'll be printing the drawings that i did in XXX software to adhesive tape paper and glue it on to the aluminium frontplates i cut out. The i'll use the drill hole (etc) graphics as a guide for drilling holes.

Any tips/tricks ideas?
thanks Very Happy
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AndyR1960



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 281
Location: Manchester UK
Audio files: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I used to use Adobe Illustrator - until OSX 10.8 came along and rendered it useless Rolling Eyes

As a Mac user, I now use iDraw for all my panel requirements, I'm sure there must be something for Windows users, but the first thing I did was to create a collection of templates for required holes, knob markers etc it's not difficult to do.

I print onto HQ paper and have it encapsulated, then cut the required holes out with a set of tooled punches and a Hefty hammer... works wonders!
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the19thbear



Joined: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 112
Location: denmark

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

@Andy:
I'm on Mac as well.
Any chance you could share your templates? That would be AWESEOME!Smile

Everyone:
Any other suggestions on how to make the actual front panel stickers?
I would love to hear different ways of doing it.
I have some pretty ugly looking aluminium plates that need to be covered interely somehow.

Very Happy
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AndyR1960



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 281
Location: Manchester UK
Audio files: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

No problem, most of what I use is on this panel, from this recent thread (a small project I'm working on): - http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-57975.html

PM me your email address, and I'll mail it to you... But you'll need iDraw from the Mac App Store.
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the19thbear



Joined: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 112
Location: denmark

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Pm sent:)
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johncronan



Joined: Feb 24, 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the19thbear wrote:

Any other suggestions on how to make the actual front panel stickers?
I would love to hear different ways of doing it.
I have some pretty ugly looking aluminium plates that need to be covered interely somehow.

I called around and found a print shop that was able to print onto adhesive vinyl and cut out the holes (from a separate vector layer) on the same machine. The graphics and the cuts came out very well aligned and the price wasn't too bad, $40 or 50 I think. This was for a very large panel. So that's a thought - it might be worth it just for the convenience, if you're doing one that large or lots of smaller ones all at the same time.

Applying it was easier than I expected, but I did it without any components mounted.
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v-un-v
Janitor
Janitor


Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 8932
Location: Birmingham, England, UK
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Front Panel Designer works on a Mac, but the great thing about it now, is that it accepts as well as exports DXF files. Ribbonsoft make an excellent little AutoCAD lookalike called QCad (although Dassault Systemes also have DraftSight, which is free). All my artwork that I've ever done, and I'm ashamed I haven't done that much in front panel work, more graphic design stuff, has been done with Intaglio which is a seriously great bit of software. Very easy to use, but powerful, a bit like Illustrator.

I hope that helps.

_________________
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DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
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the19thbear



Joined: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 112
Location: denmark

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks alot.
I ended up using Idraw - seems to work fine for me.
-What about the actual frontplate printing?

I know i can print out the layout and laminate it and suepr glue it onto the aluminium plate, but it doesnt really look that professional i think..
Any other ideas? What about printing on adhesive tape? Any brands that are good and will stick to the aluminium plate forever without peeling of in the corners?

thanks
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-minus-



Joined: Oct 26, 2008
Posts: 761

Audio files: 13

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I use Illustrator for all my artwork, electronic and otherwise. I have a mac running OS 10.6. The talk about Illustrator not working on 10.8 scares me. I'm lazy with updating anyway.

I recently tried Alumajet for panel printing. It was quite expensive here in Australia. Cost $124 for 10 A4 sheets. I used a Epson printer with a J path and had trouble getting it to feed through. I ended up double sided taping it to a standard piece of A4 paper with an overhang to get the printer to drag it through. The material I used is the satin white. I had less than satisfactory results. My artwork had large blocks of colour and some subtle fades. I had to redraw all the artwork for twelve panels and strip the design back to just minimal use of black on white. It needs a coat of clear spay over the print too, or it will run if it gets wet. I wouldn't recommend this product although I have seen acceptable results elsewhere with it on electro-music.

I have since seen this product which I will try:

http://obsoletetechnology.wordpress.com/projects/making-frontpanels/

It doesn't need to be sprayed with a cover coat like other water slide decals... apparently. I can get this for $8 an A4 sheet locally. The result on the above link looks good to me. I can get four 3U size panels to an A4! That's $2 a panel for labelling.
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johncronan



Joined: Feb 24, 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have 10.8 and use Illustrator just fine. ???
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AndyR1960



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 281
Location: Manchester UK
Audio files: 5

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well... I don't know what's going on, but I've just installed Adobe Premiere Elements 11, and now Illustrator CS3 (version 13) works fine Rolling Eyes

Maybe an updated shared component has been installed via Premiere?
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johncronan



Joined: Feb 24, 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How weird. Well, that's good.
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