Just as sign makers are demanding more of their software, consumers are demanding more of the sign maker. Living in the era of “instant gratification” has lead to a more demanding consumer, says Rebecca Freemantle, ArtCAM Marketing Manager.
“Today’s society has come to expect things instantly thanks to the digital era that we are in, and for many companies the true focus is now to ensure that the customers get what they want, when they want it - whether it is how fast a consumer receives purchased goods, how quickly they can learn how to use it or being able to produce detailed and accurate signage speedily,” she explains. It is to help sign producers meet these high expectations that Delcam have made continual improvements to ArtCAM software in a bid to make designing signs quicker and easier. “In ArtCAM 2013, we dramatically enhanced the speeds at which relief and vector artwork could be designed, as well as the speed in which simulations of the design were generated,” says Rebecca, adding this is something that will continue to be built into future releases. For the Delcam team, the job is never done when it comes to improving and adding new features to the software.
There have been significant developments over the last two editions of CADCAM software, with many more to come. And of course the ArtCAM 2012 and 2013 releases came with many user-friendly features such as interactive distortion modelling, allowing sign makers to alter their vector and relief artwork by bending and stretching their designs and to see them transform in real-time on their computer screens. “Delcam also has a number of projects in the pipeline to really push what can be done with vector design, relief modeling and machining,” reveals Rebecca. “Of course, there will always be fine tuning as technology progresses, as this allows us to improve areas of the software that customers feel could be better. Our continual drive is to ensure that the software is as easy as possible for the sign maker to use.”
The ArtCAM recipe for success
“With every release, we like to think of our process as a recipe,” says Rebecca. Here are things that Delcam considers when putting together the next version of ArtCAM software:
Small Things Matter – Delcam is in constant contact with its client base and in each release addresses areas that have “niggled” at our customers.
Core Features – On our customer visits, in ArtCAM forum interaction and ArtCAM user groups, we look at how our customers work and discuss their ideas. This helps the development team to create design and manufacturing tools to ensure that they can complete their jobs as fast and efficiently as possible.
Workflow – We ensure that the software is tested thoroughly so that it is every process from design and manufacture is easy to do. It is logical for anyone using ArtCAM.
WOW! – Delcam invests heavily in R&D to give our customers tools that will really transform what they do. As a large international company providing software solutions for a range of industries we are continually working with machine suppliers and industry leaders to further develop our product offering with unique technologies.
How to select winning software
As the sign market continues to diversify, it is becoming increasingly difficult for sign producers to cater to every faction of the market. The development of certain trends within signage and graphics can help sign makers concentrate on certain sub-markets or focus on select products, therefore making it easier to choose appropriate software. “With a rise in interest things like vehicle livery, it is helping to distinguish a sign manufacturer as one that focuses on digital and wide print formats to those that offer engraved, etched or dimensional signage,” says Rebecca.
When it comes to selecting the necessary software, sign makers are advised to consider products that can move with the market. This will cut down on re-purchasing and retraining costs, and make it easy to transition into new market areas, such as switching from 2D to 3D signage. Rebecca recommends attending open days or partaking in online software demonstrations prior to purchase to avoid selecting the wrong software package. “Additionally, arrange to speak to the company and tell them what work you do and what you would like to create in the future. From there they can show you what packages are available to you for your budget. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask!”
For more information, visit www.artcam.com