Gent (Belgium), April 7, 2004 – Esko-Graphics, the market leader in integrated packaging pre-production solutions, introduces ArtiosCAD 6.0, a major update to the leading structural design software for packaging. The update features a number of productivity enhancements, new report options, exciting new features for graphics and 3D modeling, optimizations in diemaking, samplemaking, and import/export formats.
ArtiosCAD is Esko-Graphics’ flagship and the industry’s most popular computer aided packaging design (CAD) software for packaging. ArtiosCAD provides structural designers a tool for conceptual design, product development, and ‘live’ prototyping. The product provides users with an extensive library of standard designs, or users can draft their own designs from scratch. As one of the core components of Scope, the Esko-Graphics end-to-end supply chain management workflow, ArtiosCAD is the ideal product for corrugated and folding carton designers.
New ArtiosCAD 6.0 tools
The enhanced drafting tools of ArtiosCAD 6.0 make structural designers more productive. All of ArtiosCAD’s drafting tools now have more snap options and better feedback, making the creation of complex shapes simple for both experienced and new users. While layers have always been a primary feature of ArtiosCAD, this release adds the ability to lock layers in a design to prevent changes and reduce errors. The new ‘Automatic Dimensioning’ tool can automatically dimension either an entire drawing or just a selected area.
Supporting one of the main Scope values for workflow integration, ArtiosCAD 6.0 provides even more database connectivity and reporting features. Designers are automatically prompted to enter required data when a design is saved or created, saving time and ensuring that correct information is entered for each and every design. The popular Database Reports now creates reports that ‘automatically’ format themselves based on the items included in the report.
In addition, 3D thumbnails can be added to these reports to help others throughout the company visualize all pieces of any packaging project. Database Reports can be produced in XML, HTML and Excel formats, providing a wide variety of connectivity options for communicating with other users and systems.
3D and Graphics features of ArtiosCAD 6.0 are significantly enhanced. ArtiosCAD now supports both inside and outside graphics, for those projects that require two-sided printing. Users can create realistic 3D models to show views of inside and outside printing. Using the optional 3D Animation module, users can create 3D models that automatically open to show the printing on the inside of a carton.
To enhance productivity and communication between structural and graphic designers, two significant Adobe Illustrator plugins for import and export of data are introduced. The first, announced in December 2003, directly imports a native ArtiosCAD Design file into Adobe Illustrator, keeping the CAD file layers and providing dedicated tools to preserve CAD information within Illustrator. ‘ArtiosCAD-aware’ Illustrator files are automatically updated whenever the original CAD file is edited, ensuring that everyone is up to date. The second plugin directly exports graphic information from Illustrator to ArtiosCAD. This plugin helps structural designers create CAD files that follow graphic outlines – particularly important for designers of displays and folding cartons, where the final package die cut must often follow specific graphic features. With these two plugins, Esko-Graphics has created the first ‘round trip’ workflow between structural and graphic designers. Both plugins are free and can be downloaded from the Esko-Graphics website.
3D Designer is an exciting new module that creates 3D models of products such as cans, bottles, glasses and bags. 3D Designer fully supports parametric designs, allowing users to resize a single file to create a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In addition, users can place labels on the models to quickly and easily create realistic product designs. These product models can be included with other packaging such as corrugated boxes and folding cartons. Now users can create completely animated presentations that demonstrate products, their packaging, and the assembly of all parts of virtually any packaging project. More 3D Designer features will be revealed at Drupa 2004.
Those developing the most efficient use of material for manufacturing will appreciate two new tools, Nesting and Sheet Utilization & Layout. With the Nesting Tool, rotated nest options now can have a different step value for the second row. Although defaults are set to the design size and gutter value, the user can adjust step values when the nesting tool is used. A new Intelligent Layout feature automatically creates layouts based on standard sheet sizes, defined by the user. Standard sheets can be matched to the printing presses being used within a company. The proposed solutions can be sorted by variables such as sheet, waste, and number on. ‘Near miss’ solutions that require a small reduction in the design are also shown, in case it’s the layout that is the best-fit solution.
Finally, ArtiosCAD has new output capabilities to exchange information with other solutions, and increase efficiency with Esko-Graphics CAM hardware. ArtiosCAD is now DDES3 compliant, capable of following the ANSI Standard for data communication between CAD/CAM systems and machine interfaces. The standard enables transfer of numerical control information between diecutting systems and electronic prepress systems. ArtiosCAD sample output has also been optimized to run the Kongsberg XL Samplemaking Table and Digital Converting Machine (DCM) as fast as possible, dramatically increasing the efficiency of these machines.
“ArtiosCAD 6.0 has a significantly enhanced feature set; one that enables users to produce structural designs more efficiently, as well as providing tools to integrate structural and graphic design more closely together,” remarks Susie Stitzel, Esko-Graphics CAD Product Manager. “This way, ArtiosCAD is an integral component of Esko-Graphics’ complete Scope workflow.”
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