Delcam will launch the first 64-bit version of its ArtCAM software for artistic applications such as engraving, woodworking and signmaking with a series of webinars on 26th and 28th July and 4th August. Full details on the event times and registration process are on http://www.artcam.com/events/events.html.
64-bit computers are able to use larger amounts of memory so the new ArtCAM release will enable users to work with much larger and more complex designs. The new release will make all calculations faster, with the most significant benefits being seen by customers that need to produce large 3D signs or that want to engrave items containing very high levels of detail.
The new release also includes a number of new options to enable higher quality results to be obtained. In particular, the quality of text that can be produced has been improved with the addition of a "contour blend” tool that gives centreline-ridged or smooth-domed shapes ideal for engraved-style text. The improved quality is most apparent at any intersections within letters. The same tool will also help with texture effects that intersect or overlap, and for producing complex borders on items like picture frames.
Another significant improvement is in the quality of vectors generated directly from bitmaps imported from 2D drawing packages such as Corel Draw, or scanned from artwork or photographs. With earlier versions of ArtCAM, it could take some time to clean up the vectors but the new release gives much better results that require minimal editing.
Once vectors have been created, it has been made much easier to edit them into exactly the shape that is required. The node editing tools have been enhanced with the ability to move points and automatically produce smooth curves around the shape or to maintain any sharp angles. In addition, mid-points can be displayed automatically on any curve to simplify the creation of more complex geometry.
One of ArtCAM’s most important benefits has always been the ability to create a library of reliefs for use in different designs. This process has been made easier with the introduction of the "cookie cutter” option. This allows the user to define a relief with its vector boundaries, and then cut and paste it between models or into the clip-art library for future use.
The range of standard clip-art supplied with ArtCAM has been extended with an extra 130 reliefs, including architectural, floral, frame and texture examples. For ArtCAM JewelSmith users, an additional 150 components have been added to the component library, with automatic positioning of the collets relative to the shank as they are imported.