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ArtCAM 2.

Generating Vectors

2. Generating Vectors
Vectors are mathematically defined shapes consisting of a series of points (nodes), which are
connected by lines, arcs or curves (spans) to form the overall shape. Vectors can be generated
directly within ArtCAM by using the Vector Tools in the Assistant.

Vectors can be rectangles, squares, circles, polylines, ellipses, polygons, stars or text. These
can be edited if required to make the final vectors to create a relief from.

Vectors can also be imported from another drawing package, using the File Import menu
option, or copied and pasted from another package using the standard Windows commands.

Generating Vectors Example

Press Create New Model.

Set the size as Height 150 and Width 80.
Set the Origin in the middle of the model.
Set the resolution as 628 x 1177 points by using the slider.

Once the model size has been set, the

design can begin.

Select OK.

The model is now opened and the Vectors are generated in the 2D View. The 3D View is
used for displaying the ArtCAM, relief.

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2. Generating Vectors ArtCAM

From the Assistant or Vector toolbar, select the Create Rectangle


The rectangle creation page appears, showing the options


The rectangle can be created by clicking in the screen and dragging

to a size, or by entering in the values.

Several rectangles can be created without closing down the page.

Each Assistant Page has help available, indicated by the word

Show Help.

Press Show Help.

The Assistant displays help at the side of each option.

Typically, this increases the length of the page and you will have
to move the page down to see further instructions, by moving the
bar down.

Some commands have a video clip to show the

command in use. Just press the video icon.

Once help is switched on it is displayed for each command. To

switch this off, you need to Hide the Help.

Select Hide Help.

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Press down the left mouse button in the 2D view and drag a rectangle
of any size.

The rectangle appears as dotted. The length and height can be

dragged by moving the big squares in the middle of the sides.
A radius can be put on the corners by dragging in one corner.

The rectangle can be rotated by dragging around the lever in

the centre.

Click on a corner and drag inwards.

A radius has been given to the corners of the rectangle. If you

press Create the rectangle will be generated, leaving the form
in creation mode.

Press Create.
Generate more rectangles, pressing space bar after each one (instead of
Press Close.

There are now several vectors in the 2D View.

Vectors are removed by selecting them individually,

using the left mouse button or by picking a group and
then pressing delete on the keyboard or the
cut icon in the assistant.

Stretch a box completely over all of the vectors so they turn pink. This
means they are selected,
Select Cut From the File area of the Assistant.

ArtCAM has an Undo facility, which will allow the user to go back 20 steps with Vectors
and back one step with a relief.

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2. Generating Vectors ArtCAM

Mobile Phone Cover Example

Now that all the original vectors are removed, the same model (Size and Resolution) will be
used for the creation of the Vectors required for a Mobile Phone Cover example. Below is a
drawing of the item including basic dimensions, so that the user can get an idea of how the
final product should look before working through the step by step instructions.

Select the Create Rectangle icon.

Click on the option rectangle.
Enter a Width of 50, a Height of 120 a Corner Radii of 3 and a centre
point of X 0 and Y 0.
Press Create.

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The main shape of the cover is generated.

Change the Width to 40, Height to 30, Corner Radii to 1 and the centre
point to X 0 and Y 20.
Press the right mouse button.

By pressing the right mouse button, the rectangular vector is generated

and the Rectangle Assistant page is closed.

The second rectangle will represent the window. The buttons to

represent the dialling numbers will be generated by producing a single
button and then copying it.

Click on the ellipse icon.

Enter a Start Point of X 14 Y 50 with a Height of 7, Width of 10 and an
Angle of 140 degrees.
Select Create and then Close.

This first ellipse will be copied to form all of the holes for the
number buttons.

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With the ellipse selected, click on the block copy icon from
Vector Editing on the Assistant.

The Block and Rotate Copy form appears. This

allows the user to create a block copy in X and Y, or a
rotated copy.

The distances can be set as an offset value or by a gap

value between each item.

Select Block Copy. Select distances are offsets.

Select an X Offset of 14, with number of Columns as 3.
Select a Y Offset of 10, with number of Rows as 4.
Press Apply and then Close.

The main button positions are generated. The option button will be created
next. This is a combined design of two circles merged together.

Click on the circle icon.

The Circle Creation form appears in the Assistant.

Set the Circle centre as X 0 Y 4, Radius as 4 and press Create.

Change the Circle centre to X 0 Y 8, and press Create and then Close.

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The two circles are ready to be merged together.

Select both circles and select the Weld command from Group Merge
Join Trim Vectors on the Assistant.

A new single vector has been made from the two circles.

Note: The Weld command only works on two selected

closed vectors.

Zoom in to see the vector more clearly.

With the new vector selected, press Node Editing icon from the
Vector Editing area of the Assistant. (or press N on the keyboard)

The vector nodes are displayed. At each point (node) the position
and shape of the polyline can be altered. At each span (between the
nodes) the polyline shape can be altered. Nodes can be added or
removed to change the shape.

Hover the mouse over a black node and select the right mouse button.
From the menu select Smooth Point (or press S on the Keyboard).
Move the mouse over the other black node and press S.
Select N to return to select mode and click away from the vector.

The vector is now suitably smooth at the edges. The next buttons will
be generated from an offset triangle vector.

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Select Create Polygon command.

The Polygon Creation form appears in the Assistant.

Select No. of Sides to be 3, Angle 0, polygon centre at X 14, Y 2 with a

radius of 4.
Select Create and then Close.

The triangle can be offset with a radius to produce the

desired relief.

With the triangle vector selected, select the offset vector(s) icon.

The offset vector form appears in the assistant. Vectors can be

offset inwards, outwards or both and can; at the junction between
straight lines; be given a chamfer or radius.

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Select an Offset Distance of 1, Offset Direction as Outwards, Offset

Corners as Radiused and select Offset and then Close.

The new vector is radiused at the corners.

Select the inner vector and press Delete on the keyboard.

Select the new Vector and select the Mirror Command.

The mirror form appears in the assistant. This allows the

user to mirror the selected vectors about themselves or a
selected line.

Note: The line must be selected first before Mirror

Vectors about a line option is used.

Tick Copy the Original Vector and press Bottom and then Close.

The vector has been copied and mirrored. The new vector needs to be
moved downwards. This can be nudged using the down arrow or moved by
a value using the Transform Vector command.

Select the Transform icon (or hit T twice on the keyboard).

Enter Move Y as 1 and press Apply and Close.
Select both triangular vectors and select the Group command.

The two items can now be treated as one.

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Select create a Polyline command.

Polylines can be generated by entering absolute co-

ordinates in the X and Y area, by angles and line length, as
relative co-ordinates using the dx and dy (distance from
last point) or by clicking with the cursor.

Note: Polylines can also be created dynamically in the

graphics area either by holding down the left mouse key
while freehand sketching a curve, or by using the left
mouse key to click individual points along the required

Press Add. (Enters a point at 0 0).

Enter 30 in dy (30 mm in y direction) and press Add and then Close.

The polyline will be used for mirroring the triangular buttons

across the component.

Select the poly line and shift select the group.

Select the Mirror Command.

Tick Copy the Original Vector and press About Line and then Close.
Delete the polyline.

The triangle buttons have been copied.

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Select the icon Vector Text.

Any additional fonts loaded onto the computer will be

recognised ArtCAM, as well as the standard fonts.

Select Font as Arial, Script Western, Size as 3 mm.

Click at the bottom of the 2D view and type ARTCAM VECTOR TEXT.
Select Done.

This text will be wrapped around the outer vector,

with the text inside, using wrap text around a curve.

Select the text and shift select the outer vector.

Select the command wrap text around a curve.

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The Text on a Curve form appears, which allows the user

to align an existing Text Vector to a curve vector.

Text Position includes options that control the relative,

position of the text across the curve.

Text on other side, puts it on the other side of the curve.

Text Alignment includes options that control the flow of

the text along the curve.

Text Spacing allows the user to vary the spacing between

the individual characters.

Editing Style allows the user to set individual Words or

Letters to be repositioned around the curve independently.

Select the option Specify and enter 1mm. Select Text on other side.
Select the option Single Words.
Move the text using the cursor to align on the three sides. Select OK.

The text is now wrapped.

Select Create Polyline.

Hold the mouse down and sketch similar as shown. Select Close.

This polyline will be used to paste vectors along.

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Select Create a star.

The Star Creation form appears.

Select 5 points, star centre as X 28, Y 62, first point radius as 4.5 and
second point radius as 2.
Select Create and then Close.

Select the star vector and shift select the sketched polyline.
Select paste along a vector command.

The vector is pasted incrementally along the curve

either by dividing the curve equally using Specify
Number, or by a fixed distance, leaving any surplus at
the end of the curve using Specify Distance.

Select Specify Number and Enter number of Copies as 5.

Select Paste and Close.
Delete the original star vector and the sketched polyline.

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Save the model in C:\Temp as training-phone-cover.

Close the model.

Exercise A
Open a new model of height 150, width 100.
Generate the vectors for this apple juice model,
using your own values.
Save the model in C:\temp as apple.

Exercise B
Open a new model of height 60, width 40.
Generate the vectors for this locket.
Save the model in C:\temp as locket.

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