Home >> Latest ArtCAM News >> Delcam to show ArtCAM family for artistic CADCAM at MACH
At MACH, Delcam will demonstrate its ArtCAM family of artistic CADCAM software alongside its range of more conventional manufacturing systems. The ArtCAM range comprises four key products; ArtCAM Express, ArtCAM Insignia, ArtCAM Pro and ArtCAM JewelSmith. The whole family is aimed at skilled artisans rather than engineers and requires little knowledge of engineering or computing.
This entry-level version of ArtCAM is believed to be the easiest to learn and fastest to use engraving and routing software currently available. It offers basic 2D drawing, and 2D and 3D machining functions, and so provides an ideal introduction to computer-based manufacturing for companies in the signmaking, woodworking and engraving industries.
Designs can be imported in DXF, DWG, AI and EPS 2D formats, while the 3D formats supported include STL files from any CAD system, plus designs from Alias Wavefront, 3D Studio and other members of the ArtCAM family. The software includes a range of drawing tools for creating both geometric and free-form shapes, and also for editing and repairing imported 2D files. The options for text creation support a wide range of fonts and also give complete control over spacing, kerning, and line and paragraph formatting.
Once the design has been finalised, the software offers a variety of strategies for CNC machining. 2D strategies supported include area clearance, profiling, engraving, vector-based machining and drilling, plus V-bit carving on a number of fonts. The software is supplied with a tooling database, which can be edited or added to by the user, plus drivers for many of the leading CNC engraving and routing machines.
While ArtCAM Express is aimed at producing one-off items, ArtCAM Insignia has a much greater emphasis on mass production applications. It includes vector-based design, extensive 2D machining and basic 3D machining functionality. It also allows users to import, scale, position and machine 2D and 3D decorations and textures onto their designs, and so to manufacture more distinctive and more attractive products. All the import formats available with ArtCAM Express are supported with ArtCAM Insignia.
Alongside the increased machining functionality, the main addition to the latest release is a highly-automated method for the manufacture of designs imported as layered DXF or pdf files from other CAD systems. Machining templates allow any combination of machining strategy, cutting tool and machining parameters to be assigned to each layer within the design. The toolpaths are calculated for each layer, using the cut depth extracted from the DXF or pdf data.
The calculated toolpaths can be simulated within ArtCAM Insignia, if required, before being output to the machine. More than 180 machine tool control options are supported, including those featuring multiple drilling heads and automatic tool changing.
ArtCAM Pro incorporates a special file type called the 3D Project. This allows the user to create multiple models within a single project, using the wide range of 3D modelling tools within the software. The individual models can then be arranged to create larger assemblies. For example, the sides of a cabinet could be designed as individual components and then assembled into a 3D model of the complete piece.
3D Projects also allow the simultaneous visualisation of objects that will be created from different materials and the subsequent division of the components into separate files for manufacturing in the various materials. Items can be cut and pasted between different files, so allowing libraries of components to be built up for use in a variety of designs.
The main enhancement in ArtCAM Pro’s machining is a new 3D offset strategy that gives a much better surface finish with harder materials. This will be especially useful when machining production tooling from ArtCAM designs, such as dies for greeting cards, and when engraving decorations created in ArtCAM into moulds for plastics.
ArtCAM JewelSmith is the special version of ArtCAM Pro for the jewellery industry, with additional tools for designing rings of all types, and for creating and rendering gems. Like ArtCAM Pro, ArtCAM JewelSmith has ability to create and edit designs as a series of layers, rather than always having to work with the complete model. This makes it quicker and easier to create designs made up of different types of relief, for example a combination of a 3D shape, a texture and some lettering.
Recent machining enhancements include two new wizards. The first covers index machining and allows machining at a series of fixed angles on rotary equipment. The second can be used to develop mould designs automatically from product designs, generating the parting line and the two mould sections from a user-specified block of material.