Home >> Latest ArtCAM News >> Delcam to launch 3D design add-on for ArtCAM

Ring example of photo realistic rendering

Delcam is to launch a 3D conceptual design module for its ArtCAM engraving and routing software.  The new module, to be called Delcam Designer, will allow ArtCAM users to develop 3D designs of jewellery, signage and other decorative items.  Of course, all designs created with Delcam Designer can be decorated with logos, branding, textures or other 3D decorations created in ArtCAM.

When adding decoration, the ArtCAM design can be projected onto, or wrapped over, any part of the model in real time.  The effect rather like sliding a transfer over the surface of an object, but with the added advantages that the decoration can be scaled or stretched to fit any given area and the result is fully three-dimensional.

Delcam Designer uses a range of proven Delcam technology to provide a system that is both powerful and flexible, but that remains easy to use.  Like the main ArtCAM programs, it has been developed to be used by artists and craftspeople, rather than engineers.  It does not require any specialist engineering or mathematical background to create stunning designs, just a great imagination.

The ease of use of the software becomes apparent as soon as the user starts to sketch the outline of any new design.  The Intelligent Cursor both speeds and simplifies geometry creation by giving constant feedback, automatically highlighting items like the centre-points of lines and circles, plus any potential intersections between lines.

The outline sketch can be converted into a fully-surfaced model using Delcam’s unique Smart Surfacing technology.  Like other CAD systems, Delcam Designer will provide a number of alternative methods for constructing a surface from a given set of lines, arcs or points.  With Smart Surfacing, the choice of method is made automatically by the software to give the best possible surface.  If the user is unhappy with the automatic selection, or is simply curious to see other options, he can scroll through the alternative solutions.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Smart Surfacing is that the software’s choice of surfacing method is updated automatically as extra information is added to the selection.  As any additional lines or points are selected, the chosen surfacing method is reviewed and the surface regenerated if an alternative solution has become more appropriate.

The set of surfaces can be converted into a finished model with a variety of powerful and reliable filleting and blending commands.  The user simply needs to specify the desired fillet radius and the software will show a series of tracks where fillets of that size will fit.  Some or all of the possible fillets can then be created with a single command.  Even variable radius fillets and intersecting or overlapping fillets can be created quickly and easily.

Delcam Designer also features morphing commands that allow the user to push, pull, twist or bend any geometry, together with any associated decoration, into a more complex shape.  Morphing can be applied to whole models, or to individual elements, and enables complex styling changes to be made in a single operation.  It is, therefore, ideal for the "what if” stage of new product development, when designers need to generate quickly a number of variations on a new concept.

Unlimited undo options at any stage in the design process give the user complete confidence to experiment, safe in the knowledge that none of the work on the project will be lost.  In addition, a wide range of surface editing tools allow designs to be modified quickly and easily, either to optimise the shapes or to make changes following customer feedback.

Once the design is completed, photo-realistic rendering can be used to create images for colleagues and clients.  Delcam Designer offers a wide range of material effects, including metals and stones for jewellery design.