What's New

From Version 5.1.0 to Version 5.1.1

Improvements:

  • Quantity based discounts for panels with customer material have been fixed and are displayed correctly.
  • Price calculation for panels with "Underprint white ink on the panel surface" has been fixed.
  • Update notification for a new FPD version has been fixed to respect user setting "Check for new version while starting".

From version 5.0.1 to version 5.1.0

New features:

  • New language added: The Front Panel Designer is now available in Spanish.
  • Upgrades for DXF elements:
    • DXF free contours display the original contour as a dashed red line in the preview window. This makes it easy to compare and contrast deviations to the milling contour.
    • DXF free contours with several closed contours can use a different tool for each individual contour. To this end, the contour is automatically split where required, the tool is adapted to the individual contours and the individual contours that are created are treated as a group.  FPD files from Front Panel Designer version 5.0 and earlier are automatically converted.
    • Several errors that occurred when processing DXF files have been fixed.
  • Easier to select elements with more complex front panels: Press Ctrl + left mouse button to select and edit elements directly in groups. Press Alt + left mouse button to automatically select the smallest possible element (without the "Please choose object:" pop-up appearing).
  • New printing options for front panels: It is possible to prime the entire front panel with white ink.
  • DXF cache in Front Panel Designer can now be deleted via the menu. Go to online help for more information.
  • The Schaeffer housing script that makes it easy to create and configure complete housings is now directly integrated into the toolbar in Front Panel Designer.
  • Depth offset with studs is no longer fundamentally restricted to 2 mm. This restriction is derived from the selected material thickness.

Upgrades:

  • The previously selected directory in the open file dialogue used to import DXF, HPGL and graphics files is remembered individually.
  • Enhanced true colour reproduction on printed panels. The possible combinations of material colour, printing colour and selected 'Print white' options are more effectively displayed in the WYSIWYG view in Front Panel Designer.
  • Various bugs fixed

From Version 5.0.0 to Version 5.0.1

Improvements:

  • Bugs in the price calculation have been fixed
  • Correction of errors when using print elements
  • Scripting engine has been enhanced to use the new text engraving features from Version 5.0.0
  • Other minor bug fixes

From Version 4.5.1 to Version 5.0.0

New features:

  • 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

Improvements:

  • 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

New features:

  • 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.

Improvements:

  • 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

New features:

  • 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 Version 4.4.2

Improvements:

  • Minor bugs fixed


From Version 4.3 to Version 4.4

Innovations:

  • DXF files containing non-uniform rational B-splines (NURBS) can be shown.
  • More accurate estimation of shipping charges are now possible through online communication with shipping carriers.
  • Cash-free payments are simplified through the standardized SEPA process within Europe.
  • Customers ordering from Front Panel Express can select 'sales tax exempt' for their orders.
  • To simplify the ordering process, it is now possible to attach files to either individual positions (e.g. printing artwork and bending drawings) 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 bugs fixed


From version 4.2 to 4.3

  • Selection of threaded studs and standoffs has been considerably extended (M2.5, M3, UNC#4 and UNC#6 now also available)
  • 30° and 60° bevels are now possible
  • Several other minor bug fixes


From version 4.12 to 4.21

Innovations:

  • Epoxy bonded studs and standoffs.
  • Beveled and rounded edges on both the panel perimeter and cutouts of your choice.
  • We revised the price calculation. Front Panel Designer version 4.20 reflects current pricing
  • 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:

  • Fixed a bug when loading .fpd files which under certain circumstances incorrectly led to the message that the files were defective.
  • 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 is checked for errors or invalid tools on loading.

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.
  • The Front Panel Designer crashing when the grid base is 0 and the origin is moved.
  • The menu bar disappearing on some Linux systems.

 

From version 4.10 to 4.11

  • Fixed possible crash with the ordering program. This error occurred when the calculated delivery date was in December

 

From version 4.02 to 4.10

Innovations:

  • Support for thicker material: Thicknesses up to 10mm can be selected for natural anodized aluminum. Above 4mm however, the choice of possible tools is limited, but this is automatically taken into account by Front Panel Designer.
  • Front panels can now be exported as SVG files.

Improvements:

  • Small bugs in the price calculation have been fixed: From now on only the prices in version 4.1 are valid. However, the price of most front panels does not change significantly. Drilled holes with only a sink (taper angle = 180 °) now cost as much as the combination of drilled hole and cavity (and are thus much cheaper).
  • Entering formulae 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.
  • Problem saving shopping carts on Windows 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.
  • Fixed a bug that can result in defective files on a PPC-based Mac.
  • DXF Export speeded up.
  • Removed confusing error message on Windows when ordering directly from the Designer.
  • Calendar for delivery times in the ordering program now also works across the ends of months.
  • Several other minor bug fixes

 

From version 4.00 to 4.01

Innovations:

  • The behavior of the mouse wheel is now adjustable. Here, you can choose between zooming and normal scrolling (the other option is selected with the Ctrl key).
  • The section of the window can be moved using the middle mouse button (paning).
  • Further macro files for the macro objects can be added.
  • Project files from the old ordering program can be loaded as a shopping cart in the new program.

Improvements:

  • Several Mac problems have been fixed: Launching the ordering program, placing the order, problems with MacOS X 10.4. (Intel)
  • Printing has been updated: The scaling is correct and printing unusual page formats also works now. On Linux, PostScript files are generated with a higher resolution.
  • Exported DXF files in English or French can now be read by AutoCAD.
  • Menu shortcuts have been expanded and optimized.
  
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