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Paul Seddon of Northmeade CNC uses ArtCAM to design engraving dies

Paul Seddon, owner and founder of Northmeade CNC, has used Delcam’s ArtCAM artistic CADCAM software to transfer his hand-carving skills seamlessly into CNC programming.  His company provides a confidential, freelance ArtCAM programming service that specialises in embossing dies and hot-foiling dies for the greetings-card and packaging industries.

Mr. Seddon began his career as a traditional hand engraver but, after twelve years within the industry, he decided to set up his own business in Ormskirk, Lancashire, in 2006.  The decision to purchase ArtCAM for his new service was an easy one.  "I looked at a few other CADCAM options but none of them came close in terms of flexibility and speed,” he remembered.  "It is important for me to be able to create a piece intuitively and quickly.  My time is best spent adding detail, not trying to get the software to do what I want.”

"The sculpting mode gives me the creative freedom to produce work that would have been impossible before ArtCAM,” he added.  "Getting an idea or concept onto the screen, in any discipline not just engraving, needs to feel natural in order to concentrate on the work and not the process.”

"Delcam are a proactive company,” he continued.  "I am kept up to date about updates and new products.  Whenever I have had to contact them, the response has been quick and effective.”

Mr. Seddon now supplies models to both small and large engraving companies worldwide.  "Some companies”, he says "find it useful to cover holidays or sickness, while others may not want to tie up a programmer for the length of time that some more complex models can take.  The customer will supply artwork and normally email or phone with the specific instructions regarding depth, fades, board thickness, level of detail, etc.”

Since purchasing ArtCAM, Mr. Seddon has found the online ArtCAM Forum (http://forum.artcam.com) a great source of information and inspiration.  He said, "It shows me how good other ArtCAM users are.  I often see models on there that look fantastic.  I try to replicate certain techniques to recreate the best-looking designs.  Nine times out of ten, I will eventually get a job that requires a similar technique.”

"At the moment I am really into using layers.  I will work on five or six layers in a model, which allows me to make small adjustments on the final model before sending it to my customer.  I like being able to modify fine details without touching the underlying relief.”