Panel Design Software

So, whats a good program? I’d prefer a dumbed down version. Something with pot markings and standard drill holes for jacks and whatnot already in place. Just a drag-n-drop kinda thing, if it exists. I’ve checked out front panel design, but it’s a bit daunting.

I used Excel. Once you do the various parts of a pot, you can group them so they can be copied and moved as a single unit. I can attach a sample if you’re interested. I also used to Excel to print the labels on laser (waterslide) decal paper.

Yeah, FPD is a pain to do things like pot scales/indicators and such.

Have you tried Inkscape? Maybe not quite drag and drop but you could take a little while to set up some basic elements which you could use as a template of sorts. I use Illustrator but would use Inkscape if I didn’t already have Illustrator from my school days.

@piscone, yeah, if you could share some stuff, that’d be great.

@joshyagoran, I’ll check into inkscape. Never used it before. Thing is, I’m trying to keep from having to design things myself as I’m running out of time and want to get this done soon! (got a baby due any day now).

I use CorelDraw since its made (on its heart, covered by demands of ProductManagers™ to pretend to be a DTP Program or whatever was en vogue at the moment) for technical drawing - and me being aged only slightly less than nightworxx - have learned the hard way good oldschool technical drawing on a piece of paper using pencils.

I love FPE for this, the grouping/centering/arraigning tools are outstanding

Inkscape ain’t so bad. and someone put a really great mini tutorial on here somewhere.

so, in my google searching I found this. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for!

@qp that looks like a good fit!

i wish Illustrator was more like AutoCAD. Is that sort of what you mean about CorelDraw, fcd72?

If Autocad works like technical drawing then yes :wink:

The MI modules panels are done in DraftSight (for the placement of everything and to a technical drawing for reference), then exported to PDF and finished in Illustrator for the decorative/typogaphic side of things. DraftSight is in the same kind of “horrible UI” league as Eagle, but I don’t mind, being able to type coordinates or run scripts is priceless…

Illustrator does have some coordinate abilities, able to choose reference points, etc…but it definitely isn’t done as efficiently as a technical program like AutoCAD or presumably DraftSight.

pichenettes, thanks for the heads up on DraftSight. Just downloaded it. Gonna give it a whirl. Hopefully I can get some case design out of it!

“…being able to type coordinates…”

this is why I like FPE.

Here’s a sample of my Excel file.

If FPE could handle non-HPGL graphic elements and other typefaces, I would probably use it. I still currently use it to set up SVGs sometimes, especially since it can automatically make a standard 3U Euro panel in any HP width, which I then take to Illustrator.

Hi everyone :slight_smile:
I found this http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/
On the left side you’ll find the download link for the Front Panel designer software. It’s free. I used it and works great and it’s very intuitive. You can save, print, etc. with no limitations.
Hope you find it useful.

FPE = Frontpanel Express

@joshuagoran You will never be able to get away from HPGL paths since that is how a CNC mill work, you need to specifically call out the path the cutter will follow to do large infills. There is a good primer there on how to use Corel draw to do it. I just followed that to do all the infilled area’s on my Ambika case: