A cool approach to furniture design with Delcam’s ArtCAM
When you think of furniture, do you imagine items for the home such as a dining table and chairs, wardrobes and bedside cabinets; or do you think of outdoor, office or event furniture? Do you think of the material, E.G. wood, metal, marble? What about furniture made out of ice?
Eskimo Ice, an ice specialist based in London, use Delcam’s advanced CADCAM (Computer-Aided Design & Manufacturing) software package called ArtCAM Pro (www.artcam.com) to design and machine a range of ice carvings and furniture for corporate events. One such piece of furniture is the ice-bar for consultancy company OBSR.
Used by artists and furniture manufacturers worldwide, Delcam’s range of entry to advanced level ArtCAM software packages has been used to design and CNC machine a number of individual pieces of furniture from a multitude of materials, including ice.
Prior to owning their CADCAM software from Delcam, chief designer at Eskimo Ice, Clemente Gava, always provided their sculptor with design prints for replication by hand. With ArtCAM however, files are directly imported into the software. Although this is his preferred working method, ArtCAM also provides a number of CAD alternatives such as designing directly in Pro or working from imported scanned images.
As Eskimo Ice work with uniform sized blocks of ice, they broke down the overall bar design concept into individual models (or segments) to match their size. These would then be joined together at the end of the process. Clemente commented that, "this process was made simple with ArtCAM’s ‘Project Tree’ as it allows me to keep all my 3D models together.”
Clemente stated, "ArtCAM is extremely easy to use and comes with a range of helpful tools. ArtCAM’s relief layers and tools, for example, make it really easy to create & modify my designs. I can build up my models in a number of layers. If I need to change part of my model I can just click on the relevant ‘Relief Layer’ and change it without having to recreate the whole piece.”
Using the intuitive design strategies within ArtCAM Pro, areas of the imported CAD design that would have caused inevitable machining problems, such as looped or overlapped vectors (or lines), or even vectors that did not join were eliminated.
Clemente continued, "ArtCAM’s toolpath strategies and simulations are also vital for us as they allow me to find the fastest and most efficient method of machining. Before machining I can simulate how the carvings will look according to the chosen tools and make any necessary changes. It will show, for example, areas missed by the machine tool, whether too much ice has been taken away or if the tool cuts through the ice block when it isn’t supposed to. This ultimately prevents many tool breakages in addition to valuable time lost in the ice-carving studio.”
Percy Salazar, their world leading ice-sculptor believes that, "ArtCAM saves us hours of time, especially when it comes to area clearance. For pieces that I need or want to finish by hand it can remove the bulk of ice for me, almost halving the time I need to work on it.”
If you would like to find out more about ArtCAM and its array of furniture design and machining strategies please go to: www.artcam.com or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 March 2009