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ArtCAM Lessons - How to Bypass 4000x4000 Limit

When you create a new model in ArtCAM there is a limit of 4000x4000 pixels, how do you get around it?? A little bit of theory about resolution and how it affects the quality of the model created.

First a couple of lines of theory - what is this "Resolution" and why 4000x4000 dots (or 16.000.000 dots on canvas) is sometimes not enough to work in a project:

  • Resolution is the number of points from which polygons are formed and that make up the relief on the model.

Let me give you an example, it will be clearer, let's create a model of 400x400 (mm) at maximum resolution (4000x4000).

Create a new model with maximum resolution:

new model 400x400 with resolution 4000x4000


Now let's insert the STL model“

  • (Terrain — Import — Import 3D model).

For the example I took a medium quality model:

ArtCAM when creating a new model, the limitation is 4000x4000 points

Let's zoom in and see the quality“

The quality of the model in ArtCAM at a resolution of 4000x4000

Now let's create a new model in a smaller resolution (about 10 times smaller for clarity) 1264x1264. Why is that 10 times less? - because we use the quadratic value of the number of points, and the total number of points on the canvas (perimeter) which is 1.597.696 - that is less than 16.000.000 approximately 10 times.

(Don't mind the number 1.597.696 just the slider to select 1.600.000 was problematic..“)

Create a new model:

new model 400x400 with a resolution of 1264x1264

We enlarge the model and see noticeable "pixelation", that is, the triangles have become much more visible.


The quality of the model in ArtCAM at a resolution of 1264x1264

And now let's increase the previous model and have a look at the number of triangles formed by the resolution of 4000x4000 and (for comparison) 1264x1264.

Let me remind you that the values are taken just to illustrate the example.

triangles in ArtCAM at 4000x4000 resolution

I have tried to approximate one triangle at maximum resolution and tried to add a triangle that would be at 10 times less resolution. So the size of the triangle will become ~10 times larger.

From the examples, I hope it is now clear what the resolution is and why it is important when creating large models.

Increase model resolution (bypass the 4000x4000 limit)

Now imagine that we need to create a model 1200X2000 mm (remember, the model for the example was 400x400 mm) - that is, the new model will be 15 times (!!!) larger than the previous one:

new model 1200x2000 mm

Since the initial resolution of the new model is limited by the program ArtCAM to 4000x4000, now inserting a 3D file in the model we automatically get resolution reduction of the current model by 15 (!!!) times.. That is, we reduce the number of possible triangles by a factor of 15. You can draw your own conclusions.

How can I get around the software limitation of ArtCAM at 4000X4000 resolution?

So, let's get to the point and see how we can get around the software limitation of ArtCAM at 4000X4000 resolution?

In your current model (you can use a blank canvas), open in the menu:

  • Model — Add Boundary:

add border in ArtCAM model

Leave the checkbox for symmetry, or uncheck it and set it for each side separately. Add the desired size for the current model:

Increasing borders in ArtCAM


In the example I add 400 mm on each side.

Look out!!!! When we significantly increase the resolution, ArtCAM starts consuming more resources and may freeze even on powerful computers.

Of course, it can be done BEFORE inserting the STL or OBJ model into the project. That is, in fact, we enlarge the initial canvas preserving the resolution in proportions (let's say - pixel per millimeter).

That is, in the example, I added 400 mm on each side of the model as a result got the size of 1200x1200 (???) How so? Just look at the example in the picture:

plus 8 squares of 400x400 mm

In simple terms, we have added 8 squares of 400X400mm and each with a resolution of 16,000,000 dots.

In fact, by extending the model by 400 mm on each side, we have increased it 9 times.

Let's take a look at the model resolution now (after enlarging the boundaries):

  • Model — Configure the resolution.

Adjusting resolution in ArtCAM

Note that the resolution has increased to 12,000x12,000 or 144,000,000 dots (!!!).! 144 million - now I understand why the program can freeze and slow down).

You may be asking: "There why would I need such a big model?".

So everything is simple - go to the size of the model and reduce it now to the old size, that is 400x400 (as in the example):

  • Model — Set size.

Set model dimensions in ArtCAM

That's it, we've returned the model size to the old one, but we've left the 12.000x12.000 pixels resolution! That is, the software limitation of 4000x4000 pixels was bypassed..

Again, in simple terms, they changed all the squares in size, leaving each one with a resolution of 16,000,000 pixels​.

Increased resolution in ArtCAM to 12000x12000

(The old relief in the example clearly shows that in fact the scale has changed. I still have relief on the canvas, which can be removed by simply "resetting" the relief.)

So now we have a model (canvas) of 400x400 pixels with 12.000x12.000 pixels resolution or nearly 8 times larger than in the beginning of the example.

Obviously, the sizes of model enlargement were taken as an example, you can calculate by yourself on examples how many you need to increase the initial canvas to get the required quality results of the future model.

Note that even if you expand and resize the model, you can resize it back to its original size of 4000x4000 pixels using the slider. No upward variation will be available (in fact, the slider can be rolled to the right and left, but no more than 4000 will be available).

turn the resolution in ArtCAM

For critics or seasoned Artkamchiki - wrote in clear and accessible language for novice users, using a minimal amount of obscure terms. If you know how to write in another way (as you think more logical and understandable) write and post on your site or forum, I do not mind.