Outline as free contour

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The option of creating the basic shape of the main plate from a vector graphic – in DXF format, for example – permits the generation of any external contours. This not only opens up a wide range of possibilities for the design of front panels, this can also be used for the design of corresponding machine parts.

File formats of a free contour vector graphic for the outline of a main plate

At present free contour vector graphics for both the outline of the main plate and for a milling element can only be imported in a DXF file format.

In order to specify the DXF file format, see free contour as a milling element.

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.

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.

Examples, tips & tricks

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.

You can download sample files from our website (Link) [point 2 on the list].