Creating key slot cutouts

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Key slot cutouts are needed when you are adding certain items, such as toggle switches, to an enclosure. In Protocase Designer, the easiest way to create this cutout is to add a rectangle to a circle and edit it to create a notch. For a video of this tutorial, see

  1. Find a drawing of the component you are adding, or otherwise determine its dimensions. For this tutorial, we are using values (circled in red) for the two-pole switch (the cutout without locking ring) in the following drawing. Inches, the value shown in the bottom of each measurement pair, is our unit of measure. We will draw a circle for the keyhole and a rectangle for the slot and join them to create the notched hole, plus we will draw an exclusion zone for the full size of the installed switch.
    Keyslot1 drawing.png
  2. Launch Designer and choose Open Cutout Manager from the Cutout Library Manager menu.
  3. In the Library Manager window that opens, click the New Item button.
  4. In the New Library Item dialog that opens, enter a unique identifying name (such as "Key Slot 2 Pole Switch") in Name.
  5. In the grid of dots for Origin Placement, click the center dot. (It will turn red.)
  6. Make the cutout part (canvas) as large as the switch itself, not just the hole it goes into, so that you avoid placing components too close to it. The diagram shows that the switch body is 1.32" wide and 0.89" high, so enter those values in Width and Height respectively.
    Keyslot2 new library item dialog NEW.png
  7. Click OK.
  8. In the Face Editor that opens, center the cutout in the workspace.
  9. Referring to the cutout diagram, you see that you want a circle that is 0.49" in diameter and a rectangle (slot) that is 0.06" high. Click the Circle button and draw a circle. The size and position do not matter; if you receive any placement warnings, you can ignore them.
  10. In the Properties panel, change Origin(X) and Origin(Y) to 0.0, and change Diameter to 0.49. This centers the circle on the canvas and makes it the correct size. Tip: Be sure to press the Enter key after changing any value in the Properties panel.
    Keyslot3 circle properties NEW.png
  11. Click the Rectangle button, then draw a rectangle. Again, the position and size do not matter right now, and you can ignore placement warnings.
  12. In the Properties panel, change the Height to 0.06. (Remember to press Enter after doing so.)
  13. You will now align the rectangle vertically with the circle. First, click the Edit button, then click the circle.
  14. Hold down the Shift key and click the rectangle. (They will both be displayed with the dashed outline.)
  15. Click the Align centers of objects vertically button in the Properties panel:
    Keyslot4 align button.png
    Important! When using the alignment tools, the first object selected becomes the anchor. If the rectangle had been selected first, then the circle would have moved instead of the rectangle.
    The design will now look something like this, except for the horizontal position of your rectangle:
    Keyslot5 - circle with rectangle unaligned NEW.png
  16. To find out the horizontal position of the rectangle, calculate the distance from the center of the circle to the left edge of the rectangle. Referring to the cutout diagram, you see that the left edge of the rectangle (notch) is 0.45" from the opposite edge of the circle, and you calculate that the radius of the circle is 0.245" (half its diameter). Subtract 0.245" from 0.45" to get 0.205", and that is the distance from the center of the circle to the left edge of the rectangle.
    Keyslot6 cutout diagram.png
  17. Select the rectangle and change its Origin(X) to 0.205. (A rectangle’s origin is always its bottom left corner.)
    Keyslot7 circle with rectangle NEW.png
  18. Verify the distance:
    1. Click the Measure button.
    2. Click the left edge of the circle.
    3. Click the left edge of the rectangle.
      In the Properties panel, distance should be 0.450.
      Keyslot8 measure distance NEW.png
  19. You can now join the two objects into one. Click the Edit button, then click both the circle and rectangle to select them.
  20. Click the Trim button. (This button is at the very bottom of the tool panel, and might be out of sight if the window is not maximized.)
  21. If the Trim Mode instructions are displayed, click OK to close that window.
    The pointer icon changes to an eraser: Eraser.png
  22. You will now erase all lines that you do not want, in order to create the notch.
    When the eraser (pointer) gets close to a line segment, the line turns blue. Click the mouse to erase that blue segment.
    Tip: If you accidentally delete a segment, click the Undo button in the toolbar:
    Keyslot undo button NEW.png
    Here, erasing is in progress, with a segment being selected and then erased. (In these examples, the eraser icon for the pointer is not displayed.)
    Side-by-side images for trimming NEW.png Side-by-side images for trimming NEW2.png
    And here it is complete:
    Keyslot10 trim3 NEW.png
  23. When the trimming is complete, press the Esc key to end the Trim mode. Important! If you click the Accept and Close button now, the trims will not be saved.
  24. The cutout is now completed, but you can now add an Exclusion zone the same size as the switch body, so that nothing can be added to that area of the enclosure that would interfere with the switch.
    1. Under Mode at the top of the tool panel, choose Exclusion.
      Note:Exclusion zones are displayed in a transparent red. If you forget to select the Exclusion mode before drawing, it will be a cutout and not an exclusion zone, and will be displayed in black. You can change it in the Properties panel by clicking the Cutout dropdown and selecting Exclusion:
    2. Click the Rectangle button and draw a rectangle of any size and at any position.
    3. In the Properties panel, change Width to 1.32 and Height to 0.89. This is the size of the switch body, which you also entered in the New Item dialog for the size of the canvas (see step 6).
    4. Click the Send To Back button in the Properties panel to display the exclusion zone behind the cutout, so that you can select the cutout and align the rectangle to it.
    5. Click the Edit button, then hold down the Shift key and click the cutout first and then the rectangle. Click the Align Centers of Objects Vertically button and then click the Align Centers of Objects Horizontally button.
    6. Press the Esc key to exit the Edit mode.
    You now have an exclusion zone that covers the body of the switch, and a cutout for the neck of the toggle switch.
  25. Click the Accept and Close button. The cutout is now listed in the personal library section of the Cutout Library. You can now select it and place it on any enclosure, like any other item in the Cutout Library.

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