I’m looking to get a Cad-Cam system.
I’m looking to get a Cad-Cam system.
Check out this months MJSA Journal. There is a great article from
Steven Adler of A3DM here in Portland.
There is a great section on all of the different CAD CAM systems
available with lists of their different strengths and weaknesses.
Steve really knows his stuff.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Consider 3DESIGN CAD7.
My name is Stelios and I come from Greece. Here in Greece the most
avaliable CAD/CAM systems are the “TYPE 3” from "VISION NUMERIC"
which is French company, “MATRIX 6.0” and “RHINO” which are Americans
and I suppose you already know.TYPE 3 and MATRIX are too expensive
(about 6.000 euro means 7.
500$) and that’s why more and more people use RHINOCEROS which cost
about 1.000$. My experience says that TYPE 3 and MATRIX are more easy
to use, with more details and tools but if I bought today something
it will be RHINOCEROS.
Have a good day all of you
Consider 3DESIGN CAD7. http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/h9
Thanx Bob. How does it compare with Rhino 4 with T-Splines?
I use Rhino 4 and 5–the version 5 is still in beta format, but so
far it has been stable for me and I love it! I also use RhinoGold
3.0 and T-Splines 3.0. Really like all of them!
Just a couple of minor corrections…
The jewelry CAD product from Vision Numeric is 3DESIGN CAD7. Type3
is more of an industrial product for 3D engraving, mold making, etc.
3DESIGN pricing starts at less than $2K.
The jewelry CAD product from Vision Numeric is 3DESIGN CAD7. Type3 is more of an industrial product for 3D engraving, mold making, etc. 3DESIGN pricing starts at less than $2K.
You know Bob, When I asked if you were in sales for Vision Numeric
when you were last extolling the virtues of 3Design you gave me a
lot of crap but did not bother to mention that you are in fact a
Territory Manager for Vision Numeric. There is nothing wrong with
being positive about a product you represent but If you are going to
participate in a forum such as this you need to disclose your
affiliation with the product and not try to present yourself as a
customer/user that is.
James Binnion Metal Arts
If Renoir, Monet, and Manet had internet access available at the
time and belonged to a forum, I’ll bet they would have been freaking
out over the invention of the camera–I mean, who would want to buy
their paintings if a more realistic version was available?
Seriously, CAD/CAM are just tools–they are not the signs of the end
of times. If you are a great fabricator, then there will always be a
market for what you do. This notion that anyone can install a program
and spit out beautiful pieces is crazy–you still must have a great
design and the knowledge of what will/won’t work in reality–not to
mention the time and energy involved in learning how to use the
software. You can give a girl a fully stocked bench with all the
bells and whistles, a stack of precious metal, and a bucket of gems,
but it doesn’t mean she’ll make something worthy of the Smithsonian.
Tools are tools–its what you are capable of doing with them that is
unique and well made that makes the difference.
Dear Bob, I do not really know what $2K means. Could you please
explain? The true is that here in Greece the price for the whole
programm is $7700 plus education $380 per day plus update $1200 per
By the numbers, once you have purchased Rhino and added all the
plugins to do surface modeling, stone setting, rendering etc. etc.
so that this engineering software can do jewelry; you have more than
paid for 3Design which does all this. On a functional level, I would
simply suggest you ask each company for an online demo and judge for
yourself. Ask them to make a ring, set a stone, cut a seat for the
stone, add prongs, put stones on a curved surface, do multiple
replication, maybe some pave the go back and change the shape of the
ring. Make them work for your business. It’s going to be an
investment for you either way so, see which workflow suits you the
You’re right Bob,
3 design is the name. It was my mistake
“Photography freed painting from a lot of tiresome chores, starting
with family portraits.” - Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“Do you know what will soon be the ultimate in truth? Photography,
once it begins to reproduce colors, and that won’t be long in coming.
And yet you want an intelligent man to sweat for months so as to give
the illusion he can do something as well as an ingenious little
machine can!” - Paul Gauguin
“Merely copying the object is not art. What counts is to express the
emotion called forth in you, the feeling awakened.” - Henri Matisse
“We look at a painting to know the painter; it’s his company we are
after, not his skill.” - James McNeill Whistler
I do not really know what $2K means. Could you please explain? The true is that here in Greece the price for the whole programm is $7700 plus education $380 per day plus update $1200 per year.
A “K” stands for kilo, which means thousand, but been from Greece,
you know it already.
It is difficult to recommends any software package without knowing
what your needs are, and level of sophistication. I can’t say
anything about CAM, because I am not using it, but I do have some
knowledge of CAD. I will presume, since you are asking the question,
you are recent participant in this field.
The very best CAD software is made by Autodesk, and it priced
accordingly. Going downhill from there, you will find many
companies, making different claims, with very few having actual
I suggest that you download software, which is absolutely free. The
name is PovRay. It is not very convenient to use, because it does not
have graphical interface, however if you use Windows, there are
modelers available, which work with PovRay. Modelers priced quite
PovRay would allow you to learn about 3D graphics as a discipline.
After you comfortable with PovRay, you will be ready to evaluate
manufactures claims on you own. Be forewarn, most of so called
special features are simply software bugs, which they are lazy to fix.
Also, stay away from claims of inter-operability. Good 3D requires
tight fit between hardware and software. Stuff that works everywhere
is probably junk.
Also, be very weary about software overselling some particular aspect
of 3D, like some flavor of spline modeling. Bread and butter of any
3D is polygon modeling. Good implementation of Catmull-Clark algorithm
is a must.
I through this one in on purpose, so you can interview 3D sales
people. If they cannot explain what it means, move on to the next
This notion that anyone can install a program and spit out beautiful pieces is crazy--you still must have a great design and the knowledge of what will/won't work in reality--not to mention the time and energy involved in learning how to use the software.
Too right. I have a friend who works at the fanciest jewelry store in
town and some bozo with a cad-cam but no real bench experience
created a piece with lots of customer stones, that was cast and the
cad-cam operator didn’t allow for shrinkage…
3DESIGN pricing starts at less than $2K.
Yes, but the $2K version is useless unless you have a full version
as well. The $2K does not allow to export STL or OBJ files, which is
what the RP or CAM guy needs to produce the piece.
anything about CAM, because I am not using it, but I do have some knowledge of CAD. I will presume, since you are asking the question, you are recent participant in this field.
The very best CAD software is made by Autodesk, and it priced accordingly. Going downhill from there, you will find many companies, making different claims, with very few having actual meaning.
You have less knowledge than you think on CAD if you claim Autodesk
has the best CAD software. They are like Microsoft, big but no where
near the best. But because they have been around for a long time and
are heavily in represented in large corporate clients they are the
800 lb gorilla. But not the best, AutoCAD is bloatware like
James Binnion Metal Arts
I'll bet they (Monet...) would have been freaking out over the invention of the camera--I mean, who would want to buy their paintings if a more realistic version was available? :)
Beckie’s post was absolutely right. There are no rules when it comes
to how you run your business or what you need to do to become
successful. Use CAD or don’t, people aren’t kidding when they
suggest that you should just find your niche and exploit it to the
best of your ability.
Look at… http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/m2
The late woodworking artist George Nakashima would make his signature
furniture out of hand selected trees. Often making an entire set out
of the same tree. His daughter Mira now runs the business. Who would
think you could make a living selling very high end, hand made art
furniture when you can buy inexpensive Chinese factory made furniture
down the street? Many would throw up their hands and say it can’t be
done, that you can’t compete. Lucky for all of us people like the
Nakashima’s don’t listen to that kind of crazy talk.
The very best CAD software is made by Autodesk, and it priced accordingly. Going downhill from there,
First off, yes “K” stands for kilo, but in English it’s used as
shorthand for thousand (which is what the the prefix kilo means).
So, $2K is $2,000. More clear.
And since Leonid points out that he knows little about CAM, his whole
posting really needs to be clarified, too. Autodesk once ruled the
CAD business and they are still major players. What they don’t rule,
and never have, is the CAM business. Autocad is still a major
program, but it’s essentially a drawing program. Autodesk scored a
major coup when they acquired Maya from Alias Wavefront, which was a
competitor of their own 3DsMax. The following has been written here
before, but it bears repeating.
Maya and others like it are ~mesh modelers~. Maya is what was used
to model and animate Shrek, all the Toy Stories, Antz and most
others. Maya makes “balloons” - shapes on the outside that have no
value (substance) on the inside. If you model a brick in Maya, it’s
a balloon in the shape of a brick. What you need - what you must
have - to do CAM is a solids modeler. Then, when you model a brick
the interior has the substance and value that the CAM system needs
to make the part. Nowadays there are translators that can take
output from Maya and turn it solid, but of course every time you
translate data you lose a bit or it can go strange on you. Rhino is
a solids modeler, and are Matrix and some others. You simply cannot
output your mesh data to your CAM program and expect it to work,
'cos it won’t
The premier CAD/CAM programs in the world right now are Catia and
Pro-E, which aren’t just expensive but far too bloated to make
jewelry with. Catia is also a CAE program - computer aide
engineering, and it’s also product lifecycle management software.
Boeing, Sony and GM use them to engineer parts, set up chains of
supply and warehousing and all of that stuff, all in one place. When
you see a car engine on television with all the pistons and things
running, that’s Catia, too. You can make all the parts of an engine
and tell Catia that it’s an engine and it will understand that it’s
an assembly. You can do animations and virtual product testing and
much more. Too much program, too much learning, too much money for
jewelry making even if you do always want the best.
Not being a CAM expert beyond observing the marketplace for quite a
few years, I’d say you can do a lot worse that Rhino to start out -
I’ve used it abit, it’s as easy as any CAD program can be. The
others (Matrix) are great programs, but they cost a LOT…
Povray is a rendering program. In fact it was the first ray-tracing
program out there that I know of. Not much use to anyone without a
modeling program to start with.
Something of a 3 way combined response…
Well said. CAD is just another tool; it doesn’t make one a designer
if you are not already so inclined.
We already communicated about your questions offline. Let me know if
you need anything more.
Thanks for the plug.
Territory Manager - West
Vision Numeric USA