Front Panel Designer

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The “Front Panel Designer" is a free software that optimally supports the design and on-line ordering of front panels. The files received online or by e-mail by “Schaeffer AG" are immediately available in the production department following their automatic conversion.

Free Download

The “Front Panel Designer" is available for free download on the of Schaeffer AG website.


We would also be happy to send you a USB stick with the installation package.

Installation on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

"Front Panel Designer" can be installed on the following operating systems:

Windows: 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Mac OS X: 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.7 (Lion), 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Linux: Intel 32 bit/64 bit, all standard distributions, less than 3 years old

For details, please read the chapter "Setup > Installation" in this manual.

Everything from drilled holes to free contours

All of the standard features required for the design of front panels such as drilled holes, cutouts, cavities, lettering, curved slots, etc. are available right up to the possibility of including your own HPGL gravure lines to milling lines based on vector graphics ("free contours").

Furthermore, a collection of macro-elements is available, which are based on the geometry of standardized or marketable components and is being continually expanded by of Schaeffer AG .

Recurring elements can be grouped at random by the user and managed in a library.

In order to be able to design front panels for 19 "racks, the geometry of the main plate can be adjusted in width and height units and system holes drilled for well-known suppliers' applications.

At each design stage, the price the front panel would cost in the current design can be called up.

Taster course

Detailed instructions for the design of a sample front panel can be found in our "Taster course". In this way you can familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of creating a front panel.

Automatic Price Calculation

The program continually calculates the price of the current draft and the scale of discount per unit depending on quantity.

Online Ordering

The “Front Panel Designer" has a module for ordering the desired front panel and optional enclosure components online.

Delivery service from Standard to "Overnight"

Set the timeline for production and delivery in the ordering dialog. Using the standard service, your order is complete after 5-8 days. Using the Expressservice and in conjunction with the respective delivery service, you can also receive your order the very next day.

Origin and development

The idea for the development of the Front Panel Designer originated in 1997 as two things occurred at the same time:

The previous production of amusement machines and thermodynamic measuring devices at the Schaeffer company was associated with a need for front panels, which regularly culminated in the request: "One of these panels and if possible by yesterday" – exactly what manufacturers liked to hear least and what understandably cost the most.
As a result of a major development contract the company was in possession of a modern high-performance milling machine, which was controlled by software with modules covering the most common front panel objects.

Within six months, a design software was developed for users and a conversion software to convert individual design files into the appropriate production files for the milling machine. The software was ready to download on the homepage of Schaeffer Apparatebau from 1 March 1998 and was advertised in magazines such as "Elrad" and "Elektor".

The Front Panel Designer emerged at a time when the number of Internet users was growing rapidly from year to year. And thus the Schaeffer milling service met a growing community which was developing its own solutions and wanting to order online, at the same time desiring the certainty of having exactly what they had designed delivered cheaply and quickly - even when the quantity was one!

Schaeffer AG was able to develop positively, because it remained true to its original motto of offering the customer maximum flexibility in design and then producing his solution in high quality and delivering reliably.

Schaeffer AG delivers worldwide, especially to the European market of course. Especially for the market in America and parts of Asia "Front Panel Express LLC" was founded in 2002 in Seattle (USA).