Guide to the Custom Plate Creator

DataPro Help > Guide to the Custom Plate Creator

Welcome!

DataPro's Online Plate Creator is an easy, flexible tool for creating a huge variety of custom wall plates, rack panels, interface panels, and more. Read on for a complete guide to its usage and functions!

PointerIn a hurry? Look for this icon indicating the essentials of each step!

  1. Choosing your Base Plate
  2. Adding Cutouts
  3. Adding Couplers & Cables
  4. Changing & Removing Items
  5. Labeling
  6. Saving & Ordering

1. Choosing your Base Plate

DataPro offers a wide variety of plate sizes and styles for customization. First choose a category, then select a plate by clicking on its icon.

Note: If you need a size or shape that's not listed, we can custom fabricate nearly anything as a custom panel.


PointerClick on any plate icon to choose that style

close-up of plate selection close-up of plate selection
When you choose a plate, the material selection area below will change to reflect that plate's available options. Materials that are able to be laser marked are signified by an orange banner.


PointerClick on a thumbnail to select a material

close-up of material selection

As you proceed through the Plate Designer, the left sidebar will show your current plate, along with real-time pricing. At the bottom of the sidebar are the navigation buttons which allow you to move to the close-up of next button step, go close-up of back button a step, or close-up restart button from the beginning.


Pointer When you are ready to proceed, click close-up next button


2. Adding Cutouts

On the right side of the screen is the cutout list. Click on a selection from the list, or enter a keyword in the search box. Beneath your blank plate you will find one or more close-up of add button buttons. Each button corresponds to a column of your plate; the wider your base plate, the more columns you will have available.


Pointer Select a cutout from the list, then click the close-up of add button button under the desired column

Multi-column plate close-up of cutout list


3. Adding Couplers & Cables

When a cutout is added to your plate, a menu will appear to the right and display a list of all couplers and panel-mount cables that are compatible with that cutout. If there are multiple lengths or colors for a cable, a dropdown list will allow you to make a selection.

If you do not want to add a cable or coupler at this time, click on the close-up of no connector button button at the bottom of the menu.

Note: Suggested products are based on the cutout type selected. For example, adding a "VGA" cutout will only show VGA cables, and adding an "RS232 Serial" cutout will only show 9-pin cables, even though they are both the same size and shape.


PointerClick on the close-up of add button button under any cable or coupler to pair that product with the cutout

close-up of empty cutout close-up of cable selection



4. Changing & Removing Items

Moving & Removing Cutouts

Cutouts in a column appear in the order that they are added, but this order can be changed using the arrows under each cutout. close-up of up arrow and close-up of down arrow move the connector up or down, respectively. Note that to move a connector up or down an empty column, you must add "Blank" cutouts from the cutout list. To remove a connector, click the Remove Button. To remove the cutout itself, click the Remove Button one more time.


PointerUse the close-up of up arrow button to swap a cutout with the one directly above it, the close-up of down arrow button to swap with the cutout below, and Remove Button to remove it

close-up of adjustment buttons

Changing a Cable or Coupler

To change the coupler or cable mounted in a specific cutout, click on is graphic. An orange border will indicate that it is selected, and a list of other compatible products will appear on the right. Clicking close-up of add button will remove the existing cable or connector, and replace it with the selected alternative.


PointerTo change a connector, click on it, then select its replacement from the menu

close-up of highlighted cutout

Adding Cutouts Side-by-Side

To add cutouts side-by-side in a single column, add the left-most cutout as normal. Then select the next cutout. If the selected cutout is narrow enough to fit in the same column as the first one, an close-up of add with previous button button will appear under the list. Click this button to add the selected cutout next to the previously-added one.

Note: Side-by-side cutouts in a single column act as one row: the arrows shift the entire row up or down; the close-up of X button button clears the whole row.


PointerTo add another cutout next to the previous one, select a sufficiently narrow cutout and click the Add With Previous button

filled cutouts close-up of add with previous close-up of add with previous


Spacing Out the Connectors

If you do not like the automatic spacing on your plate, you can influence the vertical placement of each cutout by adding "~Blank~" placeholders, which can be found in the list of cutouts. These empty spaces are added just like other cutouts, and can be moved up or down in the same fashion. The plate creator takes the blanks into consideration when calculating the automatic spacing, which allows you to offset the other cutouts to your liking.

Note: Blanks can also be inserted next to another cutout using the Add With Previous button. This can be used to push cutouts left and right.


PointerInsert a ~Blank~ from the cutout list to 'push' cutouts up, down, left, or right

Blank Cutout on Cutout List spacer cutout


5. Labeling

Labeling cutouts is possible on many plate finishes. The fields above and/or below the cutouts allow you to specify what text you would like marked in that space. There is a 20 character limit on each cutout.


PointerTo add labeling, fill in the text boxes above or below your cutouts

close-up of custom name field close-up of custom name field

Because the example plate has 3 rows of cutouts and one blank row, the labeling options are limited to below the cutouts. A plate this size with only 3 rows of cutouts will have the option of entering the label above or below the cutout. Once you move to the close-up next button step, you will see the approximate size, font, and position that the labels will be (shown in the right image).

6. Saving & Ordering


PointerClick close-up add to cart button to finalize your plate and add it to your cart!

On the final step, you will have a chance to review your complete plate. Underneath the plate is our default description; if you would like a custom name or description to appear on your order (and invoice), you may enter one here.

close-up of custom name field

On the left sidebar you will see the price of your plate, and options to close-up add to cart button or close-up share button. Adding the plate to your cart will also add all associated connectors or cables. Sharing your plate will generate a unique link that can be shared.



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Still have questions?
Contact our Sales Department for questions, assistance, and expert recommendations!
1-800-727-8890 -- sales@datapro.net