Delcam to show latest software for 2D and 3D signage at ISA
Delcam will show the latest release of its ArtCAM Insignia CADCAM software for signmaking, which features new 3D modelling and machining options, on booth #302 at the ISA exhibition to be held from 22nd 24th March in Orlando. Signmakers attending the show will see first-hand how to create 2D signage, including cut-out, inlaid or v-bit carved signs, as well as how to design and machine stunning 3D signage with the new 3D tools.
With an array of vector-drawing tools, signmakers can create their own unique fonts and vector artwork or, if they prefer, import other vector designs into the software. These 2D designs can then be transformed into 3D shapes or machined as they are with ArtCAM Insignia’s advanced 2D-machining strategies.
If the designer chooses to start with imported DXF or PDF files, ArtCAM Insignia’s ‘Toolpath Templates’ enables them to apply previously-defined machining strategies, cutting tools and machining parameters to named layers within the imported file, and calculate them with just a single click. Before machining, they can also nest the vectors according to their true shape to prevent any material wastage, while choosing to save the dimensions of any leftover material for future use.
For 3D signage, the sign maker can either import a pre-created 3D model into the software or instantly transform their vector artwork into 3D shapes with some of ArtCAM Insignia’s shape-creation tools. By simply double clicking on a specific colour of a bitmap image or a selected vector, the ‘Shape Editor’ tool allows the user to instantly create a 3D shape with their preferred shape profile, angle and height. The software also gives control over how the shape is combined with any 3D relief that has already been created.
Alternatively, signmakers can use the ‘Two Rail Sweep’ tool. This allows the creation of 3D sweep shapes by selecting a number of open vectors to represent the edges and cross sections of the 3D relief.
To add further embellishment to a design, the signmaker can add textures with the ‘Texture Relief’ feature or add face profiles with the ‘Face Wizard’ tool, useful when creating memorial plaques for example. With the ‘Texture Relief’ tool, a range of shapes or an imported texture can be added or subtracted to any colour or vector, or even the entire 3D model.
Any blemishes in an imported model can be removed and adjoining areas between 3D shapes softened with the ‘Smooth’ tool or the ‘Smooth sculpting’ tool. The ’Smooth’ tool smoothes the entire model or areas within a selected colour or vector evenly, whereas the ‘Smooth Sculpting’ tool allows the designer to vary how much material they sculpt by altering the diameter and shape of the tool used.
In contrast, the ‘Erase’ sculpting tool allows designers to not only sculpt areas down flat but, more powerfully, if a mistake is made, the ‘Erase’ tool allows them to sculpt back to a previous point in time. This means, for example, that a sign-maker could smooth an area and return a small portion back to its original state.
Once the 2D or 3D design is complete, all toolpaths can be simulated prior to being sent to the CNC or laser machine to make sure the signmaker is happy with the results.
31 January 2012