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ArtCAM Pro models can now be divided into a series of layers

Delcam will demonstrate the new version of its ArtCAM Pro design and manufacturing software for the woodworking industry at the Xyelxpo exhibition to be held in Milan, Italy, from 16th to 20th May.  This latest release, version 9, includes enhancements for data import, design creation and machining of models. 

ArtCAM Pro enables people with creative flair, such as artists, designers and engravers, to increase their productivity and raise quality by using computerised manufacturing techniques, alongside their traditional skills.  The new features in this release seem certain to consolidate the software’s position as the leading system for the engraving, signmaking and woodworking industries.

The most important enhancement in ArtCAM Pro 9 is the ability to create and edit designs as a series of layers, rather than always having to work with the complete model.  The use of multiple layers is most advantageous when working on a design made up of different types of relief, for example a combination of a 3D shape, a texture and some lettering.  Placing the elements of each type onto separate layers makes it easier to edit the individual parts of the design and to manage the complete model. 

In a similar way, the use of layers also makes model management simpler when different elements of the design intersect with each other.  It is much easier to change the positions and relationships between overlapping elements, allowing a series of complex design variants to be developed more quickly and easily.

Dividing a model into layers can also speed calculation times, especially for complex models.  This is possible because the relief can be edited layer by layer, rather than having to undertake a re-calculation for the whole model after every change.

The new release can also store multiple bitmaps relating to the same model, another feature that has been requested by many users.  This new ability means that the artwork used for shape construction can be kept independently alongside the artwork used for rendering the finished model.  In addition, greyscale bitmaps used to edit the model can be linked to other elements in the same way.

The pdf format has been added to the range of image types that can be brought into ArtCAM Pro.  All the bitmap and vector pages within the pdf document are converted automatically into separate layers within the ArtCAM Pro file.

The resolution of any artwork and the related reliefs can now be adjusted during the design process.  This means that low-resolution artwork, from the Internet for example, can be imported and then the resolution increased to improve dramatically the quality of the resultant relief model.

ArtCAM Pro now has similar functionality to the recent version of ArtCAM JewelSmith in allowing a single art file to hold independent back and front reliefs based on the same artwork or design.  The two reliefs can be combined to create complex 3D STL triangulations for manufacture by rapid prototyping, to machine both sides of a 3D part, or to hold the male and female mould detail in a single ArtCAM file.

The tool database has been expanded and now includes several additional complex carving tool shapes.  Three of these – Ogee, Roman Ogee and Roundover – are among the most commonly used raised-panel tool shapes in the furniture and similar industries.  They are very popular for producing efficient but attractive edge finishes using 2½D machining.

Finally, development of the new version has included an overhaul of the interface to simplify workflow and reduce the apparent complexity of the Assistant page.  A second detachable Assistant page has been added to the right-hand side of the work area to hold the layer controls and toolbox add-ins.  Both Assistant pages can be positioned and resized to suit a variety of working styles and monitor resolutions.