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Old 24th June 2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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Question Where do you get those cool layout diagrams?

Just wondering where everyone gets those cool layout charts for cutting out the plate/chassis holes for there amps? Is there something free available online or am I the only person that hasn't purchased special software?

Also, I've got a friend that I'm pretty sure would have no problem building anything I gave him plans for, but just in case, is there a company or service out there that will cut the holes in the metal plate for you? I have zero access to metal working tools so I've got to find a work around.
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Old 25th June 2009, 02:43 AM   #2
chrish is offline chrish  Australia
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I posted a reply on your other thread... I have just started using google sketchup. It is free...

Regarding metal working tools etc. I think there is a company called front panel express? I think they make up panels to your specification. Not sure how expensive that is though. Another thought, I gather you are in the military? I used to be in the military in Australia. We used to be able to get private jobs done by metalworkers, mechanics, electronics technicians etc on the base. We used to call them "foreigners" (don't know why exactly, probably because they were outside work...). For the cost of a case of beer, you could get a bunch of stuff done, and often not have to pay for materials, as the amounts needed were often found in the scrap bins. The guys were often very good at their jobs and happy to help you out and teach you a thing or two. Worth asking your buddies about... You might be able to purchased a chassis and just have the metalwork guys make the cutouts for you...

Good luck!

Chris
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Old 25th June 2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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That's an awesome suggestion. All the guys that do that stuff on base here are local nationals (Japanese) so the language barrier is a little tough, but beer and lots of pointing can build a lot of bridges.

Thanks for the idea and I'll try Google sketch up as well.
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Old 25th June 2009, 11:54 AM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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Tough if you're in Japan, but here in the States, Front Panel Express will not only cut the metal for you, but they provide free layout and design software. I've used them for several projects and have been 100% satisfied.
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Old 25th June 2009, 02:17 PM   #5
kmaier is offline kmaier  United States
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I'll second SY's vote for Front Panel Express... I've used them a few times... very good quality and fast service. Note that they are a German based company and offer the same services in Europe.

I do have a few minor complaints of course, one is that they use pre-anodized stock so your panel has plain aluminum edges instead of the base anodized color. Second, their layout program (Windows only... ugh) only allows decimal spacing, not fractional.

Regards, KM
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Old 25th June 2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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Very interesting stuff. Can you provide a rough estimate of cost for having them do something like the top plate for a Simple SE build? I'm sure it varies, but a rough idea would be helpful.
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Old 25th June 2009, 02:46 PM   #7
kmaier is offline kmaier  United States
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The FPE layout tool does the pricing automatically... based on size, selected material (thickness and finish), number and type of holes plus engraved text, lines, fills, etc.

Regards, KM
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