The extensive clip-art library is a key part in making ArtCAM Express the easiest to learn engraving and routing program currently available. New customers can use the library to create their first models simply by pasting items into their designs. All the clip-art items can be scaled, copied, or combined to give complete designs.
Once the user has gained the confidence to create original designs, the software includes a range of 2D drawing tools for creating both geometric and free-form shapes, and also for editing and repairing imported 2D files. Designs can be imported in DXF, DWG, AI, and EPS 2D formats, plus designs from Alias Wavefront, 3D Studio, and other members of the ArtCAM family.
The options for text creation within ArtCAM Express support a wide range of standard fonts and also give complete control over spacing, kerning, and line and paragraph formatting.
To help visualize the designs, they can be rendered in numerous materials, including the most common metals and different types of wood, such as mahogany or maple, complete with wood-grain direction. If the final design requires external approval from the client, it can be emailed as a rotatable 3D PDF.
Once the design has been finalised, ArtCAM Express offers a variety of strategies for CNC machining. 2D strategies supported include area clearance, profiling, engraving, vector-based machining, and drilling, plus V-bit carving on standard Windows fonts. In addition, a 3D raster toolpath can be created within a vector boundary. A tooling database is supplied with the software, which can be edited or added to by the user.
A simulation can be run of the pieces being machined using the chosen tools and the given material block dimensions. Users can compare the results obtained with different tools or machining strategies on the computer, potentially saving time and money. The optimum toolpaths can then be exported to more than 250 different types of routing and engraving machines, using Delcam’s proven range of post-processors.
To supplement the 2D drawing, and 2D and standard 3D machining functions within ArtCAM Express, a range of modules are available to add extra functionality as the user develops his skills and wishes to take on more complex projects.