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A screen that would have taken six months can be produced in two months with ArtCAM

By using Delcam’s ArtCAM artistic CADCAM software to drive a CNC router, Joe Valasek’s company, Carveture, can produce carved artwork and architectural pieces that were in the past only accessible to very rich individuals and organisations. He can now produce breathtakingly large and detailed murals, doors and other carvings for customers with more modest budgets.

Mr. Valasek started his career as a sculptor over 30 years ago. For the first few years of his career, he worked purely with hand-carving tools. "When I was sculpting and carving by hand, I found myself feeling jealous of bronze artists who produced a model and then cast 200 copies,” Mr. Valasek remembered. "So I spent eight years searching for the right tools that would marry the power of the computer and CNC machinery with the freedom and creativity of manual sculpting. I tried a number of different software packages but ArtCAM is the only one I have seen that can do what I was looking for. I found a CNC router made by Precix with two heads that can quickly produce large jobs.”

In his early years working with CNC, Mr. Valasek teamed up with a couple of other designers to carve grapevines onto the ends of wine barrels to make decorative faces for clocks sold through a wine-accessories catalogue. With almost two decades of experience under his belt, he is now taking on much larger projects for corporate and individual clients.

For one project, he produced two twelve-foot wide by six-foot high murals, with enormous levels of detail and a wide range of different scenes. These would have taken six months to carve with traditional methods but were designed in only two months using ArtCAM.

Another example was the series of murals that he produced for PeaceHealth, a group of hospitals in the Northwestern United States. The murals represent the healing and nurturing influence that the PeaceHealth family of employees has on the wide regions of the Northwest, stretching from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Cottage Grove, Oregon, served by PeaceHealth clinics and hospitals. The hospital is now planning to have Valasek build two more murals. By reusing components from the first project, he estimates that the new murals can be designed in only two weeks.

"Besides saving large amounts of time in producing the first iteration of your design, ArtCAM also lets you reuse parts of your art,” Mr. Valasek explained. "You can also buy artwork on the web and incorporate it into your design. The result is that carved artworks and architectural pieces that were formerly out of the range of all but the most lavish budgets are now becoming affordable. My hope is that my carvings will add delight, charm and value to my customers’ homes and businesses for many years to come.”