Sign News

Artcam - Change is often hard but with it brings new beginnings and opportunity

Classic Design & Manufacturing’s premises after the hurricane hit.It takes a certain spirit to give up a lucrative career and dive headfirst into a new industry, but that's exactly the scenario that gave birth to one of the top U.S sign companies.

Classic Design and Manufacturing (CD&M) near downtown Pensacola (previously known as Classic Sign & Mirror), opened 22 years ago by Michael Sheehan. At the time Mike was a licensed aircraft technician in Louisiana for a company that leased helicopters to the oil industry. However Mike wanted to break free from his job and to take his hobby as a sign maker to a commercial level.

Mike's background in aviation came in handy in the "everyday" inner workings of the business and allowed CD&M to appreciate the newest, state-of-the-art technology including ArtCAM, artistic Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing software (CADCAM) from Delcam, based in Birmingham, England.

Finished Varona’s sign, a Cuban restaurant in Pensacola."We were one of the first ArtCAM customers in the U.S. because I knew straight away that it was so much more than just a design product. It's the output to whatever you're going to make from the beginning to end. It's the whole package."

Mike began changing the business's focus towards manufacturing when a hurricane hit, leaving total devastation. However, Mike saved a lot of his own frequently used shapes, symbols and logos in ArtCAM by using the Relief & Vector Library, which allowed CD&M to continue producing quality designs quickly, even in a reduced capacity.

"Good comes out of everything." Mike said, "With ArtCAM we were able to expand upon the products and services we offered as well as it being a big part of rebuilding our facility."

One project to benefit from ArtCAM was the Varona's sign. "To create the Flamenco Dancer I first did a quick clay model to work out the flow of the dress.

"Using the clay model and the logo provided by the customer as a visual aid, I modelled the dancer in ArtCAM. Some people start with a sketch but I prefer to work with clay. Even if I was carving these with chisels I would still make a clay model."

Once happy with the model Mike created and exported the necessary toolpaths to machine the piece and then added the finishing touches by hand.

ArtCAMPro Screen with a Flamenco dancer in the design panel.Backed with 30 years of CADCAM development experience Mike feels confident in his ArtCAM investment. Mike said, "Delcam have implemented many changes that I have suggested over the years and continually brings out features that people feel are important to improving the software."

For further information on the ArtCAM software please visit: www.artcam.com or for details on CD&M visit www.classicsign.com

Design by Hinchliffeart.co.uk