Delcam’s Total Modelling halves design time


The completed plate from the tequila set
Rotary machining of the master pattern for the glass

By using Delcam’s unique Total Modelling design system, Mexican company Artesanias Finas en Estaño has halved the time taken to create a novel range of promotional items for the local tequila industry. The complex design shows the various stages of tequila manufacture and was only possible through a combination of traditional design skills and the Delcam software.

The initial artwork was created as drawings and sketches that were scanned for import into ArtCAM. An initial model was created with a series of reliefs to develop the outline shapes of the various items in the design. Then, the fine detail was incorporated by adding or subtracting material with the software’s sculpting tools. "It is really amazing the detail our users can get with the sculpting functions and how easy is to complete even this complex job to the high quality we need,” said company owner Antonio Gallardo. 
  
 The geometry for the glass was created in PowerSHAPE and the relief wrapped around it. The combined model was then transferred into PowerMILL to generate four-axis toolpaths to machine a master pattern in resin. Finally, this master pattern was used to produce rubber moulds for casting of the tin.

A similar combination of PowerSHAPE models and ArtCAM decoration was used to complete the collection with an ashtray and a little plate. "This ability to use to use the same artwork on a range of products is one of the greatest benefits of using ArtCAM,” said Mr. Gallardo. "Once you have a relief, you can scale it, reposition it or cut it to match another piece of geometry, without the need to remake the design. Overall, we saved more that 55% of cost of developing another product for the same line.”

Delcam’s Total Modelling brings together elements of the Power Solution software range in a unique, fully-integrated combination of solid modelling, surface modelling, triangle modelling, reverse engineering and decoration techniques. This wide range of techniques gives designers the ability to create innovative products more easily and more quickly, without the restrictions of conventional CAD software.

Total Modelling extends the hybrid modelling methods available in other CAD systems to include other design techniques, including the reverse engineering and triangle modelling capabilities of CopyCAD, and the relief modelling and decoration options within ArtCAM. With this approach, design elements created within either CopyCAD or ArtCAM can be included as trimmed features in the history tree of operations inside PowerSHAPE. This close integration means that designers can move between the different types of modelling more easily and see more quickly the effects on the overall design of any changes in a single element.

The range of techniques also means that the required design can be completed without restrictions or compromises, regardless of whether the starting point is a new idea, a 2D sketch, an existing design or all three. Design elements created from 2D drawings in ArtCAM or reverse engineered from an existing part with CopyCAD, or even features imported from other CAD systems, can be wrapped onto an underlying surface within a PowerSHAPE model. This approach for detailing designs is much more powerful and flexible than the Boolean addition methods available in solid modelling systems.

Total Modelling also allows a far greater range of alternatives designs to be investigated in a much shorter time. Individual elements can be scaled in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios, and can be re-trimmed back into the main model in a few seconds. Equally, a range of different features can be placed into a defined area of the model and their sizes adjusted quickly to the nearest possible match to the space available.