Delcam has enhanced many of the modelling tools in the 2015 release of its ArtCAM Insignia CADCAM software so that the results of changes are shown in real time. In addition, several modelling and machining options that were previously only available in the top-of-the-range ArtCAM Pro package have now been added to ArtCAM Insignia.
Unlike most other CADCAM systems, Delcam’s ArtCAM range of software is aimed at artisans and hobbyists rather than engineers. The programs are designed to require little knowledge of engineering or computing. ArtCAM Insignia has been particularly successful in the volume production of artistic items in 2D or 3D by signmakers, woodworkers and engravers, amongst others. In all these areas, ArtCAM Insignia allows users to increase productivity, improve quality and deliver new designs more quickly, by combining their craft skills and creativity with the power and precision of computer-aided manufacturing.
The main development for ArtCAM Insignia 2015 is the ability to create and edit 3D shapes with the shape editor and two-rail sweep tools in real time, allowing the user to see changes instantly. Previously, this type of live update was only available when distorting vector artwork.
In addition, the extrude, spin and turn modelling tools previously available only in ArtCAM Pro are now included in ArtCAM Insignia, giving more methods to create freeform 3D shapes. These extra tools also operate in real time.
The 2015 release also includes new tools to speed up the editing of vectors. Firstly, selection of vectors has been made easier and quicker. Dragging the mouse across any area of a model now selects all the vectors either completely or partially within that area. Selection can also be made of a set of nodes, either from a single vector or from a group of vectors. Once selected, the group of vectors or the set of nodes can be edited simultaneously in either the 2D or the 3D view.
Another enhancement allows rotary models to be developed as the basis for designs, with the ability to wrap reliefs around them, if required.
CNC machining is often easier if all the vectors are in either the clockwise or anticlockwise direction. ArtCAM Insignia can now identify all vectors created in one direction automatically, rather than having to check each vector in turn, so saving considerable time.
As with the modelling tools, a number of machining options previously available in ArtCAM Pro have been moved into ArtCAM Insignia. The weave option turns vectors into 3D weaves to provide complex decorations, while the use of offset machining gives a superior finish in many applications.
Other machining enhancements include the ability to create custom tools using an open vector to represent the tool’s profile and relief slicing to divide high reliefs for machining, laser engraving or 3D printing as a series of files.