Roland supplies many different software packages to control and compliment their machines. Their aim is to make programming the machine movements as easy as possible, so that anyone at any skill level can use them. Many of the machines are also G-Code compatible so that programs can be manually written, or produced by a third party CAM software. Here is a list of some of the software packages offered by Roland.
The Virtual Control Panel (vPanel) software runs on a computer and gives you direct control of the machine connected to it. Whether your machine has a physical control panel built in or not, vPanel will give you remote viewing and control over things like feed, speed, and axis position. It can integrate with a tool sensing probe to make tool measurement and setting the origin quick. It also has features like tool life management and alert emails. You can create programs for the machine in other software and vPanel will run them to cut parts. You can see the vPanel software being used in the final SRP Player video below.
The CAM programs you see below require a 2D or 3D design to be created/imported before the tool paths that control the machine movements can be calculated. ClickMill software lets you cut features quickly without the need to use a CAD or CAM program first. It can perform basic processes like drilling holes and cutting pockets through a convenient conversational interface. Simply input all of the requested parameters for the given operation and ClickMill will do the rest, without you having to draw anything. For example, to create a pocket all you would need is to give information like size and location and the proper movements would automatically be generated to cut the pocket out. This can be a great way to pre-cut stock and create quick work holding solutions.
METAZA Studio is a software used to program impact printers that create photorealistic imprints on items. It can create/import text and graphics to be used in the imprinted design. The software itself gives you the ability to create text, borders, and backgrounds for use in your design. You can also import and edit things like photos and logos using EPS, JPEG, and BMP files. A template shape that represents the item to be cut is selected and everything can be scaled, rotated, cropped, and positioned properly before printing. The DPM version of METAZA Studio includes features like a 2D symbol creator and allows the user to imprint sequential data onto each item in a series.
Dr. Engrave is a CAM software that’s normally used to program engraving machines. It can create/import text and graphics that can be scaled and used to define the path for the tool to follow as it cuts. It has many features like TrueType and single line fonts, raster to vector conversion, variable data support, and an automatic layout feature for importing Excel/CSV/TXT database files. The Dr. Engrave Plus software can import IA files and has functions to program things like levelling and hole drilling. Feeds, speeds, and depths can all be set before sending the program for the machine to run.
When engraving a TrueType font the tool will cut the outline of each character shape. Depending on the size of the text and the cutting tool being used, the lines can run too close to each other and produce a poor result. The Single Line Font Editor 2 (SFEdit2) software is used to convert TrueType fonts into single line stroke fonts that can help legibility in those cases. Instead of cutting the outline of each character shape, it will cut down the center of each character shape and engrave the same way as you would write by hand. You can see an example of SFEdit2 being used in the middle R-Wear Studio video shown below.
R-Wear Studio is an optional software used to create templates for rhinestone decoration on different items. You can create/import text and graphics to make a design and apply rhinestones to it with the R-Wear Studio software. There’s a library of 500 rhinestones and a cost display that calculates the required rhinestones and price of the project overall. After everything is adjusted to your liking you can simulate the tool path and send it to the machine to cut the template. Rhinestones can be brushed into the template and then applied to things like jewellery and apparel.
SRP Player is a user-friendly CAM software that can program machine movements to cut the desired parts. You can import an STL, DXF, 3DM, or IGS/IGES part model and the software will walk you through creating the tool paths to cut it. Most of the tool path generation itself is automated, so no programming skill is required. The five step wizard will collect information like stock and tool size before creating the program. The tool paths can be previewed in simulation, then the program can be run by the machine as many times as you want.
There are a few different iModela programs that provide similar tools to SRP Player. iModela Creator has 2D drawing tools that you can use to create your own designs. Once you draw or import the design you can use it to mill shapes, holes, textures, and patterns. Modela Player 4 is another CAM software that can take 3D part files and apply tool paths cut to them. You can import an STL and scale it, apply a cutting process using material library defaults or your own cutting parameters, then watch the simulation before sending it to the machine. When the program is ready the Virtual Modela software can be used to validate it through simulation. You can use it to catch mistakes and estimate the cycle time involved in cutting the part.