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CAD/CAM Milling Machines

Does anyone have some recommendations on 4th axis milling machines
that I can run with GemVission software? What do you like most about


   Does anyone have some recommendations on 4th axis milling
machines that I can run with GemVission software? What do you like
most about it? 

With the proper post processers you should be able to output NC code
for any type of mill.

We use several Model Master mills that run constantly. The tech
support for the Model Master is unparalled, and the mills are
extreamly reliable.

Dear Britten,

I have several choices to offer you. Two are made by Roland
(Japanese) and are 4 axis and come with Cad/Cam software. The price
of these two units is around $10,000. Delivery is about 4 weeks. The
others are made in Germany by Isel-GmbH. They are much heavier duty
units available as 3,4 or 5 axis machines and will range in price
from about slightly under $10,000 and up and include software.

Let me know if you wish additional I can also provide
training here in Houston, Dallas or at your shop.

Edwin S. Katz, G.G.,
Jewels and Tools
15434 Rio Plaza
Houston, Tx 77083
(218) 568-5072

We have been working with a JWX-10 from Roland since early December,
it is easy to use and priced right. There are going to be accessories
available for the machine in the near future that bump its
functionality beyond most of its competition.

James McMurray


You might look at the Taig mills; they have a 4th axis option. I’m
not sure if GemVision’s software puts out standard G-code, but if it
doesn’t there are plenty of conversion programs that will take
polygon mesh formats like STL and convert them to G-code toolpath
programs these mills can run. Taig mills are made in the USA; they’re
very well-engineered and solidly built. They are also quite
inexpensive considering what they do. If you want to spend 4 or 5
times as much, you can get a better CNC mill, but you won’t come
anywhere close to their quality for the same price. If the 6-8 week
wait on factory orders is discouraging to you, don’t despair - I
usually have some in stock.

Andrew Werby

This is truly the finest on the market. Just a happy owner

Roland is a reliable Japanese manufacturer who have mastered in
digital technology.

The good news is that they have come up with a new updated machine
that comes with CAM software. It will work with all the Jewelry
Designer packages such as Matrix, Gem Vision, Rhino and all known
CAD software for our Industry.

The model # is JWX-10. You do not have to go far to look for a
supplier as we are now carrying their line. Your cost on this mill
for the month of February will be $8890.00 on Sale.

The Actual list price is $9995.00. So you save about $1100.00

If you have any questions please contact us (201) 400 0406.

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply
46 West 46 St,
New York, NY 10036

I wrote and called Roland headquarters in January to ask for
and was told at that time they had no
brochures, pictures, specifications or equipment to show. How did you
obtain one from them early in December? Where you consulting for/with
them. That would make your comments somewhat suspect, No?


Andrew is giving you the straight and unbiased truth. He is also a
Roland dealer so he is being very impartial in his comments. There
are many dealers around the country that can sell you a 4 axis CNC
Taig mill with everything necessary to start (except computer). for
less than 1/3 ( less than that if you can screw a few parts
together) then the new Roland mill. I am not knocking Roland
certainly their mill offers a lot more than GemVisions Mill at over


Note that the JWX-10 machine from Roland will come with the 3D
jewelry software: 3 DESIGN EXPRESS this special bundle will start in
March, ask for it!

david chang

    I'm not sure if GemVision's software puts out standard G-code
Andrew Werby 

Hello Andrew and others;

GemVision, at least at this point in time, is to my understanding
only a cut-and-paste sort of graphics program. It’s not a CAD
program. It doesn’t output anything but a jpg file (of other
graphics file formats). From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty easy to
create things that can’t actually be made. I don’t want to seem
insulting to the person who started this thread, but they have a
basic misunderstanding of the entire principle of CAD if they think
GemVision is CAD. It’s an art program and what it comes up with is
takes you no closer to the manufacturing process than pencil and
paper would. Even if you do learn the rather intricate processes of
operating a true CAD program, without an understanding of the
mechanics of making jewelry and the processes that ensue after the
CAD file is produced, you can still come up with un-makeable stuff.
It is naive to think that because you know how to make pretty images
you’ll be able to turn them into jewelry. Likewise, it’s naive to
think that because you can make a single piece of jewelry that you
can go into production, necessarily. Then, there’s the learning
curve for marketing, and running a business, and . . . I don’t mean
to sound discouraging, but successful jewelry designers don’t just
wake up one morning, quit their day job at the post office, and
become an overnight success. A little humility and patience will get
you there a lot faster than a big ego.

David L. Huffman


Very well said. I have been cutting waxes by hand and produce
something faster it seems to me than any mill. Yes I do lose some
perfection, but having a understanding of structure is so very
important. I have to “re-make” thousands of dollars in someone’s
items due to poor structural design. Ya it looks nice but will it
last 5 years, 10 year, hell one year. The tacori line is the one I
seem the most that house wives wear and destroy. Ya it looks nice
blown up in the magazines, but man, can woman total a pretty piece of

My wife does AUTOCAD for a engineering firm and I can say the only
thing nice about GemVission is customers can see it larger and maybe
faster right there. It is nothing that I can not say, “please come
back later this evening, or first thing in the morning and I will
have it done.” I will have to play with GemVission some more, learn
some mill techniques and still find time enjoying what I love to do
most…cut wax.

David, I’m sure when people mention GemVision they are speaking of
Gemvisions’ product called Matrix which is now in Version 4. It runs
on top of Rhinoceros; one of he best 3D modelers available.
Gemvision’s Matrix is a great program for jewelers, it will create
whatever output you may need for downstream processes whether it be
subtractive or additive. As far as the rest of your statement I agree
I think anyone using cad to design jewelry needs to understand the
material and processes.

James McMurray


Gem Vision is a company, not software. The program you are refering
to is Digital Goldsmith, and yes you could say that it is a cut and
paste type of program that makes pretty pictures. I know because I
sell those pretty pictures everyday in my store. Gem Vision also has
a full blown cad program called “matrix” which is built on the very
well known “Rhino”. I design jewelry everyday with these programs and
sell custom jobs with nothing more than the pictures that these two
programs produce.

David Delaria

I am not knocking Roland certainly their mill offers a lot more
than GemVisions Mill at over $25,000. 

I’m curious, what is the roland offering that is a lot more than the
Gem Vision mill?


I agree completley with David on these machines I see them for sale
at trade shows and have sset through demonstrations of their ability
and they are impressive. They try to tell you that the machine does
everything for you all you have to do is make a picture and the
machine will make it for you. I have worked in machine shops and
know a little about them and what I do know is the machine wont do
anything you dont tell it to do you have to programe every movement
and that can take hours in that time you could probably just carve
it by hand. They definitly have their place and they can do things
that I could never do by hand but they are not a substitute for
talent and skill their is no easy way to become a jeweler other than
years of practice. When I first started I thought I was pretty good
and it took about five years to relize I was totaly incompetent and
another ten to relize that I was ok but far from great.


Surely any one would agree that spending $10,000 rather than $25,000
is a substancial savings especially since both mills will do the
same thing with 4 axis. Also now the Roland (as of March) comes with
not only their own software package but with 3D design. 3D design is
based on a very high end international design program called


    I'm sure when people mention GemVision they are speaking of
Gemvisions' product called Matrix which is now in Version 4. It
runs on top of Rhinoceros 

Hello James and Dave and others;

Thank you for the clarification. I’ve got a trial version of Rhino
that I like to play around with. I knew Matrix was a Rhino add-on,
like the Flamingo rendering add-on, am I right? “Steep” doesn’t
begin to describe the learning curve. The only stuff I’ve seen from
GemVision, I thought, was, I see now, the Digital Goldsmith stuff.
My first sight of it, it was being touted as something that would
help these “kiosk” quick repair/custom franchisers take over the
jewelry trade. I expected there would be a whole lot of sales people
who thought they had found the short cut to doing custom sales. 30
years of doing custom work told me this was naive. I saw a lot of
"examples" of stuff that just made me shake my head. I imagined the
hacks not fearing to jump in where angels fear to tread and the few
real jewelers who got involved with this pulling out their hair. At
my last check, it seems the franchise jewelry business isn’t exactly
burning down the house. Our local “2 guys with a torch” mall kiosk
went under. At any rate, the best this software could produce was as
generic as a loaf of white bread. Digital Goldsmith, I mean.

My point is, if you are really looking at a good piece of jewelry,
it didn’t happen by accident or shortcut. There is always a lot of
knowledge behind it, even if it came to that place from many
different sources and through years of tradition. I’m certain the
people here who know how to work in CAD are aware of how difficult it
is to master the software. The people in manufacturing know how much
knowledge it takes to put even a good design into production. Right
there you have two specialties that take years to master. Now comes
the “designer”. If you understand that to design jewelry takes an
engineer’s sensibility to materials and technologies, you’ll see that
in addition, he or she really should have the experience and
training of an accomplished artist to add any beauty whatsoever to
what is first a technical accomplishment. This is what a real
jeweler is. A fine artist with extraordinary technical skills. But
if you think that “jewelry designer” is a self appointed title that
you can take on if you simply love jewelry and all your friends and
family tell you how great you are and you sell lots of your stuff
around the craft fairs, I guess that’s alright, but in my mind, you
are a designer, not a Designer.

The confusion is that so many people think that all they have to
have is talent and drive. I do a lot of over-the-counter thumbnail
sketches, and people “ooh and ahh” over the magic of these drawings,
but I know full well I wouldn’t be even a mediocre illustrator in the
world of the graphic artist. Not even a pimple on Albrecht Durer’s
derriere, even with my M.F.A… Ask any player in a major symphony if
they got there through talent and drive alone. No, it’s talent,
drive, training, luck, and about 20,000 hours of practice, and you
probably still need the Julliard degree. Of course, there’s always
the piano bar for the rest of us ivory ticklers.

I’ve worked for plenty of these “designers”. Now I charge an
upfront fee just to talk to them because they’ve wasted so much of my

David L. Huffman

They try to tell you that the machine does everything for you all
you have to do is make a picture and the machine will make it for
 They definitly have their place and they can do things that I
could never do by hand but they are not a substitute for talent and
skill their is no easy way to become a jeweler other than years of

I always find the conversation here to be interesting to say the
least and often reminds me of the saying about being like an ostrich
with your head in the sand. I haven’t posted for quite some time but
do read when I get the chance. There are some EXTREMELY talented
people on this board, but it continues to amaze me how many discount
the use of new technology, which I’m sure is only FEAR, and that
those who use it don’t have SKILL !

On the other side, it also astounds me when someone of talent with
their two hands is discounted by those that use new technologies.
There’s room for all of us and just because one designs and sells
from pretty pictures using a computer does not make them any less
talented than one who produces it by hand. The FACT OF THE MATTER is
that they’re just using different TOOLS ( And by the way, I’m one who
sells from pretty pictures but can do by hand as well).

I just think statements that I copied below are pure nonsense and
those here who are educators should be combining the Old with the New
or you’re just plain old doing your students and our changing
industry a GREAT disservice.

As to the MIll question, there are alot of GREAT mills out there of
which several have been mentioned. I’ve used the MaxNC which is a
capable mill but will burn alot of time in the learning curve. That’s
okay if you have the time. The TAIG is a much sturdier mill than the
MaxNC. I’ve looked at the Roland mills and for the price and how many
of us are using mills for cutting wax, they are also another GREAT
choice. I haven’t seen the JWX-10 other than pictures, but plan on
looking at it in NY at the MJSA show. ModelMaster makes an
outstanding mill and the model detail is excellant. They do take you
into another price category but your paying for SERVICE with a
jewelry specific application. There’s nothing wrong with that. I paid
myself for Gemvision’s REVO because of service and ease of operation.
It fit what I NEEDED IT FOR and was willing to PAY for that
convenience. But that was just me. As I said, I cut my teeth on the
MaxNC. The best advice I could give you is to asko yourself some
empowering questions and be specific with yourself. What kind of
budget do you have to work with? What are your needs? What kind of
time do you have to invest in learning to use this technology? Which
will put you in the black the quickest?

Anyways sorry for the long rant, but I guess I just had to say a few
things since it gets tiresome reading such sillyness at times.

Kevin Fertenbaugh
Hasko Jewelers/ KEF Jewelry Designs, Inc.

I've worked for plenty of these "designers".  Now I charge an
upfront fee just to talk to them because they've wasted so much of
my time." 

David L. Huffman

Boy that’s no lie. Talk to Ray at Eiffel jewelry and he will also
tell you that he has designers that make really nice things in
matrix. Well that’s all they are he even says at times. So many
students “design” items that never fly due to structural problems
and NO I repeat NO bench time. With out understanding how things are
set, why they are set a cretin way, and everything else that goes
along with that it is very hard to just use CAD I would think.

No one has asked this: So after you know what to make from the
customer how long does it take to design it in Matrix, and then
produce it on what ever mill?