FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to produce my order?
The current processing time shown at the right side of the frontpanels.de website.
Usually it takes ~7 work-days becuase everything is custom made/built to order.

I do have abselutely no frontpanel layout or... I have a layout but it needs to be changed... can you do it?
Yes. Thats possible. But it's the same as doing a new pcb layout from scratch.

I need to charge 15€ (+VAT) for every 15 minutes of work.

 

Which material do you have?
We have standard anodized colours available such as Black, silver, red, green, gold anodized aluminum.
Please look here for more information: Material

Which files can be used?
Every file can be used. Just send me what you have. Even pdf or a hand drawn frontpanel will be fine.


What about the price?
Generally cheaper than all others.

Is it possible to force in closed insert nuts?
Yes, thats possible.
Now we can even weld nuts into the frontpanel. Available M3 thread length are:

8mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 30mm



Is is possible to use customer material?
Yes, but only aluminium, brass, plastics, pcb/fr4. We cannot work with steel. And if we would do this, it wouldn't make sense because the edges or the engravings will start to corrode after a while.

Can I send painted frontpanels for engraving?
Thats possible. But it will only work if the panels are painted properly. Home-painted panels are not good for this. The paint isn't strong enough. If you give the panels to a car paint shop it will be much better. If you want to do it yourselfs, you should use a primer or ground coating and let the panel dry for weeks.

I want to have a logo on my panel?
If you want to have a logo on the frontpanel and you don't know how to do this... no problem - just send an email.

I can't wait 7 work-days, I need the panel faster. Whats the extra charge?

7-work days: 0% extra charge
3-work days: 50% extra charge
1-work day: 100% extra charge

 
What are the prices?
Iam always trying to have competitive prices. If you've got a good price for something, please let me know and I'll try to beat the price with a 20% discount.

Do you offer any discount when ordering more of the same part?

The discounts for Frontpanels are:
  5 pieces or more:  10%  discount
10 pieces or more:  20%  discount
20 pieces or more:  30%  discount
30 pieces or more:  40%  discount
50 pieces or more:  45%  discount
100 pieces or more: 50% discount
200 pieces or more: 55% discount



The discounts for enclosures are:
10 pieces: 5%
20 pieces: 10%
30 pieces: 15%
40 pieces: 20%
50 pieces: 25%

Which file formats can be used?
Just send me what you have and we will sort it out. Always convert objects to path.
Converting any files into the machine CAD/CAM system needs time and sometimes things have to clearified within some emails. Converting files will be charged with 20€.

If you can... please send me your drawing as PDF file and also send me the original file. (where the layout was created with)

Adobe Illustrator Files:

If you made a frontpanel layout in Illustrator you have to convert all objects to path. The reason for this is that Illustrator on my computer wants to replace an existing Font which is installed on your computer - but not on my computer. If you convert the fonts and objects to path then there is no problem.


It works like this:
Select > All                          or shorcut: STRG+A                          (=select all objects)
Type > Create Outlines    or shorcut: Shift + Control + O        (= Create Outlines)

If you locked or grouped parts please ungroup and unlock them before. Otherwise it is not possible to select them and create outlines.
Object > Unlock All   or shorcut: Alt + Control + 2
Object > Ungroup     or shortcut: Shift + Control + G

 

 


A small info how cnc machines work in general

We're using cnc machines to produce frontpanels. And here are some useful infos about the technology in general.

If you want to design a frontpanel you have to use a vector based software. Adobe Illustrator for example is such a software.

Here a simple circle was drawn with a vector based software.
It has sharp line and if the circle has a diameter of for example 10mm it will also be a hole in the frontpanel with a diameter of 10mm. All is good! :-)

 

 

Here a simple circle was drawn with a pixel-based software. (Adobe Photoshop)
No machine in the world can make a precise hole with this "picture". ;-)



Bitmaps can be "vectorized" (converted from bitmap to vector". That works ok, but as you can see in the picture at the left side it's still not a precise round hole - and it will never be one.

TEXT ENGRAVING

The best Fonts for cnc machines are "single line fonts". These are included in cad programs and they're used to print technical drawing with a pen-plotter.
The advantage: For the character "I" for example only ONE line needs to be engraved. That works quick and it's cheap. It looks like this:

All Windows Fonts are designed differently. Every font needs to be "closed". Which means it's not possible to draw a single line.
Any windows Font will look "outline", which means that only the surrounding lines will be engraved. Like this:

These Fonts can be filled. Nearly every sofware (like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw) can make parallell lines to the inner part of the character. Then these fonts don't look outline anymore. Because it needs more time to engrave these fonts it is more expensive as the machine needs to run longer.

The thickness of the text can be changed by using tools with a different size. Check the following picture... same text was engraved with 3 different tools:

Wouldn't it be cheaper to PRINT the text somehow?
For a series production (20 panels or more) it's a good idea to use "silk-screen-printing" technology. That's a quiet old technique but it's still used until today because... it works! :-)
The disadvantage is that it only makes sense if you do at least 20 panels with the same design. First of all a silkscreen-frame needs to be exposed, a film needs to be made. Thats 90% of the work. The printing itselfs lasts just 5 seconds for one panel.
I can offer silkscreen printing with a partner company. It costs 200€. So if you need 20 frontpanels, the printing for one panel only costs 10€. Look at your Hi-Fi Amplifier, most likely the frontpanel is silkscreened! :-)

However, because every frontpanel needs to be fixed to the cnc machine it's cheaper for prototypes or small batches of frontpanels up to 20 panels to engrave the text. Engraved text also looks high-class and it's totally impossible to remove it. For industrial products and things which are importand engraving technology is still the first choice. (Industiral Signs and elevator-plates are typically engraved)

CUTTING

Cutting tools are always round. Look at the following pictures.
In the top picture the cutter produces are very sharp 90° corner.
In the bottom picture the cutter is at the inside (to cut out holes) and it's generally not possible for the cutter to go completey into the corner.

That's normally not a problem, but it's good to know. If a round cutout needs to be made there is no problem, the cutter is also round.

If you want to order a standard frontpanel, parts or a special frontpanel just send me a mail.
Can't find the frontpanel you're looking for? No problem! I can make ANY Frontpanel. Just let me know what you need.

info@frontpanels.de

 
I will calculate the price including shipping. Be sure to include your complete shipping adress in your mail and the information about what you want to order.

Then you will get a mail with the total price and the payment instructions. (paypal or iban/bin bank transfer)

Cheers,
Frank.

For standard panels and parts please have a look at our new online shop.

current processing time:
~10 work days

Holidays 2017:

30.10.-02.11.2017
25.-.29.12.2017