Conversion of the two dimensional artwork into three dimension data is accomplished using a three-dimensional modeling computer software program. The onscreen display of the program shown in this example - Delcam's ArtCam 3D Modeling - provides a three dimensional view of the project in process with the ability to pivot the image in any direction.



   Each move that the engraving machine is to make is input in the form of a toolpath (i.e. each path to be made by a tool). The various toolpaths are then organized in the order in which they need to be performed.






   The first 3D plate to be created from the artwork is called the 'die' plate. This plate is sometimes called the 'female'.








   A matching 'matrix' plate is created by inverting the 'die' plate's data. This plate is sometimes called the 'male'.


   To the right is a photograph of the matching die and matrix plates.