ArtCAM's software offers new options for CAD/CAM designers who prefer to create with vectors. Snap hints now appear to help in locating hard-to-find snap points within vectors when creating designs. Secondly, the thickness of vectors can be changed, in either the 2D or 3D view, making it easier to visualize the design. The addition of rulers in the 3D view also make it easier to create precise artwork and to position elements of the piece, the company says, while the ability to overlap and intersect reliefs has been enhanced with a new option to interactively blend the reliefs. This allows relief clipart to be pulled up or pushed down in the Z axis to give a better blend with another 3D design.
Other enhanced features include:
The range of modelling tools that operate in real time also has been extended to include the ability to create smooth domed shapes or domes with a centerline ridge, and the option to make intricate weaves.
The tools for assembly modelling have been improved by making it easier and quicker to drag or rotate elements of the assembly into position.
The creation of complex designs by grouping relief layers together has also been made easier. In addition, relief slicing can now output the slices as DXF files, making laser cutting of tall items easier.
The main machining enhancement in the new release is significantly faster machining simulations thanks to a new algorithm that uses the specialist processor in modern graphics cards to calculate multiple operations simultaneously. This gives major benefits over standard multi-threading.
Another area of improvement is corner machining, where fillets can be added to vectors to allow more accurate machining of slots. In a related development, loops can be added for creating corners with knife cutting.