ArtCAM Pro allows complex Reliefs (ArtCAM 3D models) to be created quickly and easily from 2D vectors (ArtCAM wireframe) or bitmaps (Image files). These vectors and bitmaps can be generated within ArtCAM or imported from other systems. ArtCAM can also import 3D Surface data, which is translated on entry as a Relief model.
ArtCAM Pro contains tools for editing and/or combining Reliefs. Once a Relief has been created 3D toolpaths are easily generated for roughing, finishing and engraving. The toolpaths can be simulated to allow complete visualisation of the product before manufacture. 2D Toolpaths can also be created based on 2D Vectors.
In the Delcam training department ArtCAM Training Course files to be used in conjunction with the course notes are stored in:- D:/users/training/Artcam_Data
Starting ArtCAM Pro
- Double click the ArtCAM icon on the screen with the Left mouse button.
The ArtCAM user interface will appear as shown above. To start working in ArtCAM the user must first for simple components, create a New Model or for more complex assemblies, a New Project. Projects will be covered later at a more advanced stage of the training course.
A new model must have:- A defined area in Y and X to work in, an origin (datum) position, and a Resolution (The total number of squares within the working area). Each square defined by the Resolution will either, stay put or extrude up or down to produce a tiny part of the 3D Relief form.
When working with bitmaps the Resolution is inherited from the imported image file. As a result it is important to use as higher quality image as possible.
The dragon model shows the 2D view of the model broken up into a number of squares (pixels). Each square is given a height in ArtCAM dependent upon the command used. The first relief uses a low resolution, which means a loss of fine detail in the resulting 3D relief.
If a high Resolution is applied, the model is broken into more pixels, which is in turn reflected in the definition and quality of the Relief model.
- Set the Height and Width as 100 and the resolution as 796 x 796 points.
- Select OK.
ArtCAM opens up displaying the 2D view, with the 3D relief view hidden beneath Transfer between is achieved via the 3D or 2D icon located at the top left of the respective window. Alternatively pressing the F2 or F3 shortcut key can be used to toggle the views. ArtCAM commands are accessed from the Menu Bar options or direct from the Assistant area.
At the top of the Main window, there is a Menu Bar
Clicking on a menu item opens a pull-down menu that contains submenus and commands. If a menu item does not apply to the currently active view it will be greyed out.
For example the top part of the Vectors menu appears as in the illustration to the right.
Sub menus are indicated and selected via the arrow at the right hand side (where applicable).
The ArtCAM Assistant gives the most information and help. Information can be hidden or shown by clicking the arrows up or down.
Project Information – this shows the actual size of the artwork and height of the relief
File – These options are applied when creating new, or opening existing ArtCAM models.
Model – This controls, the editing of the model attributes and also includes Lights and Materials for shading the relief.
Bitmap Tools – These bitmap commands work with colours, directly on the defined resolution.
Vector Tools – Vectors are flat 2D lines, independent of resolution. These command control the creation of the vectors.
Position, Combine, Trim Vectors – These are the tools to modify vectors.
Relief Tools– These are the tools for generating the relief.
Tabs – Give access to other pages.
Fly – out menus
Some menu options are hidden within a fly – out menu to save space. They are accessed via an arrow located to the right of an existing icon. To lock them in positon, click the pin at the end of the fly out menu pin
Fly – out menus will change dependant upon the last command you used in the menu. For example, if you select a star, then the star moves to the left side of the menu, so when the fly – out is closed, the star icon is the one shown.
To hide a fly-out menu reselect the pin.
2D and 3D views
If required the 2D and 3D views can be shown side by side by selecting either Tile Vertically or Tile Horizontally from the Window menu.
- Select Window è Tile Vertically.
The 2D view is required when working on the bitmaps, vectors, and applying them to create the ongoing relief model.
The 3D view is required for a more realistic view of the relief model as well as the simulation of the toolpaths. F2 and F3 are shortcut keys used to switch between the 2D view (F2) and the 3D view (F3).