Image2Punch Pro is a graphics-based software application designed to create personalized patterns for perforated sheet metal using any of your graphic files. The program is compatible with a wide variety of source graphic formats, such as BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc., but it also allows you to create your own designs starting from a blank canvas.
With a very modern and comprehensive user interface, the program provides you with all the elements you need to create and modify your patterns through a series of toolbars located at the top and left edges of the working area. Image2Punch Pro is designed to create your perforated patterns working in two different phases - the Imaging phase and the Tooling phase. On the former, you can open your source graphic file (or start a new blank one) and modify it by adding texts, lines, shapes, arcs, etc. You can even adjust the saturation and brightness of the image, invert it, solarize it, and apply effects to it (such as blurring, dithering, pixelation, and many more). In other words, Image2Punch Pro includes a comprehensive built-in graphic editor.
When your source image is ready, you can move to the Tooling phase. Here, the tools available on the navigation bar change according to the new purpose. You are offered five groups of tools to help you define the parameters of your desired pattern - Tool Selection, Perforate Type, Input Data Calculation, Data Range Classification, and Material Property. You can also select from different types of perforating tool surfaces (for example, round, square, rectangle, horizontal and vertical obround, diamond, triangular...), and the type of cluster tool (2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 2x3 - horizontal and vertical -, etc.). Finally, once you are satisfied with the resulting pattern, you can proceed to save it as an image file (in BMP or JPEG) or as a DXF file, which is compatible with AutoCAD and other CAD and Design software programs. This format is also commonly compatible with various machines that can transfer your design to the physical sheet metal.
Though Image2Punch Pro is a versatile tool that has proven to be very useful for professionals - such as architects and graphic designers -, the program might be difficult to use and understand, that's why I would strongly recommend those interested in using this program to read its local and online help and documentation first. You can also make use of an online tutorial offered by the developer. Its price, however, may turn out to be pretty expensive for many people - $799 for this Professional version.