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Where do you start with making panels?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Where do you start with making panels?
sutekina bipu-on
I have a 3D printer and a need to make either a 5HP or 6HP module panel. It's gonna be super basic and have a couple holes for switches and one hole for mounting an IC socket.

What software would you guys recommend for someone with absolutely zero CAD experience to start with making a panel? To date i have just found stuff on thingiverse and hit print.

I found plenty of blank panel designs on thingiverse, i just have no idea where the hell to start with making space for components and mounting them. I can't seem to picture how i would mount something like this on a panel alone.

fitzgreyve
I know a lot of people don't like PCB (FR4) panels, but if I needed to panel mount a ZIF socket, I think I would take the PCB panel route.

Solder the ZIP connector to the PCB (panel) as if it were a normal through-hole PCB, adding any other componets to the "bottom" of the PCB, possible via surface mount.

The switches can be mounted via a couple of suitably sized holes, with flying leads to the rest of your circuit behind ther panel.
sutekina bipu-on
fitzgreyve wrote:
I know a lot of people don't like PCB (FR4) panels, but if I needed to panel mount a ZIF socket, I think I would take the PCB panel route.

Solder the ZIP connector to the PCB (panel) as if it were a normal through-hole PCB, adding any other componets to the "bottom" of the PCB, possible via surface mount.

The switches can be mounted via a couple of suitably sized holes, with flying leads to the rest of your circuit behind ther panel.


Hey I had no idea that was even an option, that sounds like a pretty awesome idea and might look cool too for this particular application. I found some 2 cm x 8 cm prototyping PCB's on ebay, got five of them for $3, and they have screw holes in the corners so i was thinking i could take a blank panel, remove a window in the middle to fit the ZIF socket, solder the ZIF and a couple switches to the PCB and i'd be all set. Print everything and screw it all together and it should be peachy.

It's for the Ladik ROMPLAY btw. Looking to make something to access the inner jumpers and swap the sample IC without removing module from my case.

Would love to know what wigglers who design their own pcb's or panels use for software. There are so many CAD options though I will try to see if I can do it all in Cura Guinness ftw!

Is there anywhere selling fr4 panels pre made or for not too much? It's hard to beat the price of 3d print filament lol
fitzgreyve
for the mechanical element of panels, I use FPD (Front panel Designer), the panel outline is then exported (.svg) into microsoft Visio for graphics which are either printed directly onto decal paper if a one-off design, or exported via PDF if I'm doing a panel run.

I use DesignSpark PCB for PCB layouts including panels. It will import a panel DXF file exported from FPD.

FPD and Designspark are free, it's easy to get cheap "2nd user" licences for older versions of Visio.

(I also use DesignSpark Mechnical for 3D modelling - also free)
ixtern
To have an idea how to mount components on the panel you can look at Synthrotek's "Test" panel. I am using it for prototyping my modules. It is a PCB with IDC16 connectors and LEDs on the front side. Even if it uses mix of through-hole and SMD-mounted connectors, you can design your own for through-hole test sockets.

https://www.synthrotek.com/products/modular-circuits/tst/
https://www.synthrotek.com/kit-assembly-instructions/modular-circuit-a ssembly-instructions/tst-assembly-instructions/

Of course you can simply make or buy blank metal panel, drill rectangular hole, drill holes through whole socket (where screws are) and screw on socket to the panel
sutekina bipu-on
Huh! i never noticed the Synthrotek Test module before. I bought a vpme.de p0wr which i suppose is the same thing but twice as wide lol

Thank you for the software suggestions!
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