Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

3D Printing

CAD is good at producing jewellery only a computer can like.
Humans are different matter. 

CAD techniques can be used to design many different kinds of
jewelry; the only limitation is the imagination of the maker. While a
beginner at CAD will tend to make things that are simplest for the
system to do, much like any beginning jeweler with a piece of metal
and a hammer, a more skilled and experienced designer will be able to
get it to do a lot more.

Parallel between CAD and hand carving is nonsensical. If hand
carving suppose to have artistic content, CAD is nowhere close to
what is required. 

Art doesn’t reside in the hand. All it does is hold a tool, which,
under the control of a creative mind (which is where the art comes
from), is able to manipulate the tool to create various forms.
Whether the tool is a hammer, a chisel, a mouse, or a sophisticated
force-feedback stylus, what puts artistic content into the material
is the mind of the artist, not the hand.

Let's for argument sake assume that a client has artistic
sensibility of a door knob and do not mind chunky trinkets under
the guise of jewellery. I am sure that CAD is great at such
applications, but so what. Do you want to put CAD to test ? Go to
my website and take a look at Eternity Ring preview Than see if you can reproduce
it. I have been offering this test to CAD aficionados for several
years. They usually come back with excuses that it is not clear
from the video the exact shape of the ring. So to eliminate the
excuse I created special page on my website, where one can see the
CAD model from every angle. 

CAD can facilitate the creation of “chunky trinkets” if that’s what
the designer wants to make. It can also be used to design things that
are too delicate to wear. The fact that a particular technique has
been used unsuccessfully in the past does not mean it can’t be used
successfully in the future.

While CAD techniques are useful for many design challenges, there
are always going to be some tasks that are best done in other ways,
including hand fabrication. But it’s easy enough to come up with
other “tests” that computer-assisted tools, or stamping presses, or
lathes can accomplish faster and better. This proves nothing either.
The best use for CAD, or any new technology for that matter, is not
in duplicating something that’s already been done some other way, but
in coming up with new things that couldn’t have been done before at

People have been making jewelry by hand for thousands of years.
Computer assisted design tools have been used for this purpose for
about twenty years now. If they can’t yet do absolutely everything
that can be done by hand, that’s hardly surprising. But there are
not many techniques for hand-fabricating jewelry that haven’t been
thoroughly explored, while new computer-driven tools and methods for
using them are coming out constantly, faster than most of us can
keep up with. I can understand that some people with a lot invested
in old ways of doing things feel threatened by all this, but for
those who can keep their minds open to new possibilities, it’s an
exciting time to be alive.

Andrew Werby

The last time this topic was posted,

what I saw changed my mind some interesting jewellery is being made
by CAD. So is a lot of crap. But still I have not seen anything to
equal inspired hand made.

Still no eternity ring, using Leonid’s design or not.

That I think can be done if you have the machinery. Very expensive
engineering machinery, think jet base engineering and millions of
dollars of equipment. Then I see no problem.

I have seen the top room in a jet base, $10 mil of computer
equipment and tools.

It could slice a hair into 14 cross sections length ways.

The task I posted was to replicate a piece by Rene Lalique using

No takers.

To me it is not the tools but the design ability of the maker.

I personally hand make WHAT CANNOT BE DONE BY CAD.

Reticulation, cannot be done without terabytes of RAM.

Of course a finished piece can be scanned/moulded and replicated but
that is not the original just a copy.

My customers love having a hand made piece like no other.

Xtines Jewels


I concede, CAD cannot and will not do it all. But tell me a tool
that will?

How well, does a hammer do milling or lathe work?

Do you try? Do you claim foul that such a tool does not?

And, no, I don’t think even with scads of RAM, will a computer do

Truthfully, this argument is moot. CAD/CAM is just a tool like any
other. It has its place where it excels, and it has many more where
it does not.

Hard part about it is, that it is a moving target. What 5 years may
bring? metal sintering at the consumer level? Possibly.

Being a CAD designer, I have to concede, that I like hand work and
the work of the hand. Just like I prefer hand drawn animation. But
really, how much of that is done?

Leonid’s points are valid, though, I still think misguided. There
just isn’t room at the top for everybody. I am glad that you made
it. But truth betold, the other 99% have a need for a little luxury

One of our local area malls just had a new store open up. All they
do is 3D printing. You bring in a high resolution photo and give them
3-5 days and they print it. Prices start at $20.00

It seems to be backed by a major manufacturer(s) of the printers.
Right now it’s just in the cool factor phase but they expect to be
doing printing for businesses in the region. I will wait until after
the holidays and bring in some photos and see what is done and what
they can do. So many of the people have no idea what 3D printing is
and it does seem like an ingenious marketing idea to get it out


I’ve seen online they have “maker bot” stores but I thought they
were all in California.

So that’s pretty interesting that your mall in your state has one or
something similar. I keep reading that many of the art departments
of universities are all using the PLA plastics to directly burn in
their investment and then pour their castings into those molds. (I
posted questions about PLA plastics before that is made of corn so
you don’t have to use wax).

However, it’s still really hard for a beginner like me to try and
make anything decent looking in 3d on the computer. I much prefer
making things by hand so far but for basic shapes, I like the ability
to have something 3d printed when needed.

Like someone else pointed out, 3d printing is a great tool in the
tool box, nothing more or less.


I went to a workshop where they scanned me with a Kinect and made a
3D mini me, very fun! I don’t quite get how they’d do that off of