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ArtCAM tutorials - how to create a clock face

How to make any dial on your own in ArtCAM so that you can then use it to create a watch model. Creating a watch face is much easier than it looks, let's make it.

Let's digress for two minutes - we will answer the question for ourselves - why make a dial, if there are a lot of ready-made STL watch models? Enough model to import them into the program. The fact is that (on a personal example, I met when fulfilling a gift order) not all dials are good enough, despite the good quality of the STL model used:

  • The thickness of the numbers used is not sufficient, when milling on the model, the walls of the numbers are so thin that they either break already during milling or during finishing.
  • The type of numbers (Roman or Arabic) do not always correspond to the idea-concept (or simply do not like it).
  • The placement of the numbers themselves on the hour dial does not "look".
  • I want to do something unique, not like everyone else (the price is always higher for exclusive models).
  • Perhaps something else. Specifically, I had a problem in the thin walls of the numbers, which broke already during milling. And also a small internal space of the element, where the cutter could not get.

Problems with thin numerals (especially Roman numerals) will not show up when creating a simulation in ArtCAM. This will become clear already under the milling machine. Breaking off of thin protruding parts is especially noticeable on fragile wood with a thickness of up to 1 mm and a height of more than 2-3X to the thickness. Of course, if you use a 0.25 mm conical cutter, then the problem of small parts will not be so terrible. But CNC milling a 500x700 mm part with a 0.25 mm cutter can take up to 50 hours of time, even at a speed of 1400-2000 mm / min.

Do not forget about profitability in production (although sometimes the client is generous, and production time may not matter much).

So, we considered some options for the problems, and now let's get started.

Create a unique watch face in ArtCAM

Let's open ArtCAM and create a new model 400x400 mm. The approximate size of the dial for an average watch will be about 300 mm in diameter (in your case, everything will be individual).

A resolution of 3240x3240 a little more than 10 million pixels will be more than enough).

ArtCAM Разрешение 3240х3240 чуть больше 10 миллионов

Align the Top View model, and select Circle. Draw a circle 300 mm in diameter (radius 150 mm).

ArtCAM Выравниваем модель «Вид сверху», и выбираем «Окружность»

ArtCAM выбираем «Окружность»

Inside the new circle, create a new figure - click a little lower (right-click on the "Polyhedron" tool - select "Star". The number of vertices is 12, the angle is 0, the radius of the first group of vertices is 145 mm (just slightly less than the main dial), the radius of the second group vertices 1 mm.

ArtCAM Внутри новой окружности создаём новую фигуру

Now we create a rectangle (in theory, this figure is arbitrary, it can be a circle, a circle). Look at the picture. I took the dimensions out of my head, as it will be an hour center indicator. You can make a circle, a rectangle, and in fact any shape that is included in your design idea. I will also say that the watch center indicator does not have to be in the middle of the perimeter of the dial - again, it all depends on your design. I tell only the principle of creation.

ArtCAM Теперь создаём прямоугольник

We move the cursor to “Select”, that is, we remove it from “Create Rectangle”. Now open ArtCAM's Paste Along Curve function. A pop-up window appears with the settings, there we indicate the “number of copies” - 12. Next, click on our new shape (small rectangle) so that it stands out - then CLAMP SHIFT on the keyboard and click on the circle (which is 400 mm in radius). We get the selection of a small rectangle and the current circle. The menu indicated the number of 12 copies - Paste. We get the exact distribution of rectangles around the perimeter of the circle.

ArtCAM «Вставить вдоль кривой»

For convenience, we need to transfer the new 12 rectangles to a new vector layer.

We click on the new 12 vectors (they were automatically merged when created) - “Transfer to a new layer”. Expand "Vectors" in the project menu, and rename the layer to "12 pr" (optional). You can do the same with other vectors on the model. But this is not necessary, although you can use any vector in the project to raise the terrain, and if these vectors are on a separate layer, then it will be easier to work with them.

ArtCAM векторы Перенести на новый слой

ArtCAM векторы Перенести на новый слой и переименовать

Turn off the display of "12 pr" and delete our first rectangle, it will no longer be needed (used as a template).

ArtCAM удалить фигуру

Creating Roman Numerals for the Clock Face

Here we will consider the creation of Roman numerals for the clock face. Purely technically inserting Arabic numerals (i.e. 1-2-3 and so on) will be similar.

Create a new vector layer for the main numbers on the dial (in the example "Numbers 12"). Let's turn on the display of vectors of 12 rectangles.

Select "Text" from the left side menu. We switch the English language on the keyboard (if there was another one). Choose the font "Gloucester MT Extra Condensed" which is the most similar for Roman numerals. The size is 110 dots. The choice of font and size is purely individual, again, I repeat, it all depends on your idea.

Let's write the first number "12" or rather "XII". Select Advanced options - "On the curve." We click on the circle (300 mm) - here we play as we want, along the line, in the center of the line along the bottom, and so on. We take the new letter as a dot and move it in the center of the upper rectangle - “Create”. We do the same with the remaining 12 digits. The algorithm is simple:

  • Select "Text", pre-select the font and size.
  • We click in an arbitrary place and write the LETTER I (to create numbers, you will need to use only three letters I - X - V).
  • We write a letter (let's say V) open the additional menu "On the curve" - ​​now click on the model on the vector-circle (300 mm) thus select the Curve.
  • Click on the "Select Curve" button.
  • The letter is automatically placed on the curve (that is, along the current circle).
  • Just move the letter to the right place with the mouse.
  • Click "Create".
  • We repeat, filling the dial.
  • XII - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - VIII - IX - X - XI - this is how the letters turn into Roman numerals. Nothing complicated.

ArtCAM создание Римских цифр для циферблата часов

For convenience, you need to do everything on the same vector layer, then it will be easier to edit it (reduce the diameter, increase it).

ArtCAM создание Римских цифр для циферблата часов распределение

So, the numbers are ready, we will continue to further correct the model, and increase the volume from the vectors.

Adjusting the watch face

Let's look at the preliminary result - the center indicators intersect with the numbers, not very nice. But this is not a problem, let's move the center markers and now we will make separators out of them.

ArtCAM разделяем модели

Make a copy of 12 rectangles and transfer them to a new layer. Name the layer "12 prices" - Select (click on the new layer and click on the model on the same rectangles) - click "Edit" (left menu):

ArtCAM редактируем и крутим модели

And now rotate by 11 Degrees (see picture):

ArtCAM поворачиваем модель на заданный угол

Now you can the first layer "12 pr" just turn off the display.

Let's expand the separator vectors so that they stand at the supposed center of the circle where the numbers are located. You can also make a new circle (in the center of the numbers) and “Fill” it with rectangles. There are several solutions, it has little effect on the final result. Of course, with an increase, the size of the rectangles will increase by 3-4%, but this is not significant.

ArtCAM расширяем модель векторов

As a result, we get this;

ArtCAM римский циферблат

Create two circles in the center, 8 mm and 26 mm in size. The first circle will mark the future hole for the dial mechanism, the second - for design (for beauty). The diameter of the first circle must be calculated according to the actual dimensions of your watch mechanism. Immediately transfer them to a separate layer.

ArtCAM векторы по центру две окружности

We get volumetric figures from vectors (raise the relief)

Now we need to raise the relief from the vectors of these figures, that is, we make out the future dial.

Go to the layer with numbers, select. Since each number was created separately, select each one by holding SHIFT. Next, press the right mouse button and "Group vectors" for the convenience of further work.

ArtCAM группируем векторы

Grouped. Select and click in the "Form Editor" menu (see picture)»

ArtCAM редактор форм подьём рельефа

In the shape editor settings, select "Square", angle 75-85 (based on your design). And we limit the height. That is, we set the height of future numbers. I chose 3.5 mm (consider the margin for possible processing, grinding, polishing, and so on). Don't forget to click the "Apply" button.

ArtCAM редактор форм поднимаем цифры

We get this:

ArtCAM редактор форм готовый циферблат для часов

In the same way, we raise the separators of numbers (if you have them). Only the height I have already chosen is a little less - 2 mm, the rest of the parameters are the same.

ArtCAM редактор форм поднимаем фигуру

For ease of editing (and possible corrections), everything needs to be done on its own layers, now these are the layers of the front relief.

Now we will do the same with the central circles (select the hole and the framing of the clock mechanism exit). He prescribed a height of 5 mm, an angle of 80. But here again, at will, according to the design. It may or may not apply.

ArtCAM редактор форм подьём рельефа окружностей

In principle, the dial is ready. Now you can play in the program and make a clock out of the dial.

ArtCAM готовый циферблат

Let's make a full-fledged clock from the dia“

You can play with the design, let's put the numbers on a separate layer (see picture)“

  • Create a copy of the circle 300 mm and change the size to 390, and the original to 290.
  • Select both circles by holding SHIFT.
  • Raise the relief through the "Shape Editor" - select "Circle", height limit 1.5 mm, angle 90.

We get this ... yes, this is not the brilliance of design (sadness ...), but you understand the principle, I hope.

ArtCAM добавляем рельеф под буквами

ArtCAM цифры подняты относительно плоскости

Hmm, but we can insert into our model ... let's say ... a map of the world ..

We put a map of the world in the clock face

Save the project, create a new model (I'll just open a new copy of the ArtCAM program and do everything there).

The size of the new model is not particularly important, for example, let it be 500x500.

Export the World Map model (you can get it here) – Relief – Import – Import 3D model.

ArtCAM используем модель карты мира

The world map in the model is represented as two hemispheres. I will use the right one. Since the hemispheres are somewhat in the form of an ellipse, and not a circle, we take the Ellipse vector drawing tool. Carefully insert it around the perimeter of the hemisphere (then you can edit it).

ArtCAM вырезаем модель карты мира

Then select the tool "Zero Outside Vector" and remove all the relief from the outside.

We get such a convex hemisphere.

ArtCAM редактируем и сохраняем модель карты мира

The clock face in the example is flat, so you need to make the map flat too. We use the same vector and the Shape Editor tool. Select Circle, and a negative angle (I got -17 degrees). As a result, the convex relief was turned into a flat one. If there are artifacts along the edges (the remnants of the old relief stick out) - you need to select the ellipse vector, reduce it by 1 mm and repeat the removal outside the vector.

Save to the Reliefs library or create an STL model. Why make a model? - it will be easier to remove the height of the resulting model up to 2-3 mm. (You still need to save it to the library - it may come in handy later).

ArtCAM выравниваем на плоскости модель карты мира

Reset the relief and open the saved STL model here. I lowered the model in Z by 1.5 mm. And the height of the model is now about 4 mm. Paste and save to the library of reliefs.

ArtCAM открываем новую модель карты мира

I understand that those who know will say that it was possible to take a model from the relief library and correct it in Z, but the program does the Z correction from the library for a very long time. And I just need the plane of the map, not its actual model. You can save the second STL model (with a low height), but this is all individual.

ArtCAM сохраняем модель в библиотеку рельефов

That's it, we're done with the map. Open the dial, open the relief library and insert the world map into the middle of the dial. We get this beauty.

ArtCAM вставляем карту мира в часы

The purpose of this lesson was to show you how to make your own clock face in ArtCAM.

Obviously, those who read carefully will notice why I created a 12 end star from vectors if I myself used filling with rectangles. It's simple - perhaps your design does not provide for the placement of hour digit separators, and so - a 12-corner star is just what you need for alternative centering. In this tutorial, I created it, but did not use it.

Watch (dial) made by this technique in the finished product:

ArtCAM готовые часы с уникальным дизайном

How to write a good NC for CNC, I will try to tell in new lessons (as I find time for this).

More than 500 hours of work in ArtCAM.