Schott Systeme Enhancing industrial engraving and carving

Editor: Steffen Donath

German software developer Schott Systeme GmbH has introduced new industrial engraving and carving strategies within their Pictures by PC CAD/CAM Software.

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Originally launched in 1984, Pictures by PC maintains a product continuity of over 35 years. Schott Systeme GmbH continues to offer free software support without annual maintenance costs.
Originally launched in 1984, Pictures by PC maintains a product continuity of over 35 years. Schott Systeme GmbH continues to offer free software support without annual maintenance costs.
(Source: Schott Systeme)

Engraving involves running a tool with a constant depth of cut along the centre of a contour (e.g. marking of text). Industrial carving is the more complex and specialised machining of both raised and indented embossing stamps and imprints. To achieve this in a sharp corner of a contour, and corresponding to the conical angle of the engraving tool, a 3D toolpath is created to ensure the smallest conical radius is maintained at the top contour, leaving a “sharp” corner. The latest version of Pictures by PC CAD/CAM software includes improvements for both engraving and carving machining methods.

Complementing carving is Cylindrical Projection, enabling the wrapping of graphic and text around the outside of a cylindrical surface (e.g. embossing rolls). The latest version of the software also supports Inside Cylindrical Projection, where graphics and text are wrapped around the inside of the cylindrical surface, facilitating the engraving of products such as blow moulds. The same milling strategy also supports Spherical Projection whereby the toolpath is wrapped around the outside or inside of a spherical surface (e.g. jewellery).

Double Projection is also another new addition within Pictures by PC version 3.8. Taking a ring with a rounded cross section as an example, graphic and text can firstly be wrapped cylindrically around the cross-section radius. The resulting toolpaths can subsequently be cylindrically wrapped a second time around the ring diameter, creating 4 or 5 axis simultaneous engraving and carving on a double curved surface.

Essential for industrial engraving is also the inclusion of vector graphic and professional typography tools. Here Pictures by PC enables engraving artwork to be sketched using their vector graphic design tools (Bezier, Nurbs). Typesetting tools (Truetype, Postscript) offer the highest level of typography including professional kerning. Vector based artwork can be imported using Adobe Illustrator (AI), Encapsulated Postscript (EPS), Window Meta Format (WMF) and Enhanced Meta Format (EMF). Black and white bitmaps (scans) can also be vectorised to generate engraving contours, or grey scaled photos converted into 3D mesh relief models.

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