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CAD/CAM - What works for you?


#1

I have been involved in the jewellery business for over fifteen
years and have been investigating 3D CAD/CAM technology for the best
part of the last five years.

I have quite easliy narrowed down the field to Matrix-Rhino or
3Design. Quite clearly they are the only complete solutions for
Jewellery creation.

I would like to hear from other jewellers, thier opinions not only
on 3Design and Matrix-Rhino but any other software that works for
them.

Please no salesmen I already heard your pitch.


#2

I am a JewelCAD designer and I liked it… its best software… I
am also jewelCAD distributor in Pakistan… If you need more
please let me know…


#3

Hello, I think that you have to look at Jewelsmith by Delcam. It is
really a great product. It like all programs has a learning curve but
it will do some amazing things. I looked at Matrix as well. But I
picked Jewelsmith. It is an English company with a Canadian officeas
well. It has several resellers in the states and Model Master is the
primary. I am not involved with the company other than using the
product.

Check it out. Dennis


#4

I’ve been working in Rhino 4 ( a series of Betas). It is VERY sexy.
If you like Rhino 3 - you’ll fall all over the place with Version 4.

I’ve never used 3Design.

Justine Wetherington


#5

I have been a Matrix user since version 1. If there was a better
software out there I would be using it. I also use ArtCam, but only
for the heightfield from bitmap stuff that Matrix is not good at.
With Version 4 of Rhino coming out you are going to be able to do
some amazing things. I have used Rhino 4 to bend many solids and
apply them to a surface. Really easy stuff.

I recently attended a 6 hour demo of 3 Design. (I am always looking
for anything that makes the job easier) The guy who invited me,
first went to Modelmaster in Atlanta for a demo. He had a specific
ring design that he wanted to see each software do. Artcam failed to
make the design. I truthfully do think Artcam would be able to do
the ring but you would have to be a VERY experienced user. It would
have to be made in sections and assembled in the “master” model.
After Artcam my friend had an appointment with 3design… but they
canceled on him. And he drove up from Clearwater for the demo. He
was not a very happy camper. They did reschedule and came to him.
That’s how I got to sit in on the demo. I must admit that I was
somewhat impressed with 3 design. However I don’t think I would be
too anxious to buy it. The guy who did the demo, Sylvain Palissard,
did know the software but didn’t really understand how to make the
ring design my friend wanted to see the software do. I think it was
because he has no jewelry background that he wasn’t able to
understand how the = ring was made, not because the software couldn’t
do it. I did do the job for him from his picture. The wedding band
took all of 15 minutes to make and the engagement ring took me about
an hour to an hour and a half. Very easy to do in Matrix, although I
did use Rhino 4 to apply the items that I made, to the curved shank
of the ring.

After the demo I called Vision Numeric and spoke to Carolyn and
asked them to send me some on Type Edit…another of
their products. That was over a month ago and I HAVE NEVER HEARD
FROM THEM AGAIN. I have talked to other people on JDN and Polygon who
have the same problem getting answers, help, and from
Vision Numeric. I think the total number of users in the US is quite
small. This would translate into it being somewhat difficult to find
someone in your area who would be able to help you with the program.
There are over 1000 matrix users and theirf orum has over 20,000
posts on it. It is very easy to get help with the program there.
Getting help on Vision Numeric’s Forum would in my opinion be
difficult as there are very few users there.

I only counted about 10 tutorials for 3design (there may be a few
more) They were well written and comprehensive. Matrix has over 60
very detailed tutorials posted on their website and they continually
post little “on the fly” videos that they make to answer users
questions on the forum.

I really only have one thing to say. YOU ARE NOT BUYING THE
SOFTWARE…YOU ARE BUYING THE COMPANY. Most all of the softwares
will eventually getthere and turn out a model. Some companies will
be easier to work with and some will be more difficult. THERE IS NO
BETTER COMPAMY TO WORK WITH THAN GEMVISION.

David


#6

Hi,

I have been working in India on CAD/CAM- Jewelry application. As
India is a good production house for mass jewelry, pretty much every
company in the business are using CAD as a model making tool.
CAD-Softwares used in here are:- IDEAS by EDS PLM. (this is an
engineering software and is a very powerful parametric software-
most of the companies use this (u need engineers to work on this for
the best of results) JEWELCAD- Is yet another very successful
software & is very easy to learn a nd use (as its meant for jewelry
application.) RHINO/Matrix. SOLID WORKS:- Again its an engineering
software. 3Design - TYPE -3 has no base in India. J-CAD -very
little presence.

Best Regards,
Dinesh


#7

Hi,

There are several software companies out there, with good and bad
sides.

As for Jewelry, you have no choice than looking at 2 major products
: 3Design and Matrix. I’ve looked at others, and they are waste of
time. We are a mall store and I also offer repair, custom jewelry,
etc. I’ve been thinking of CAD for a while to push the custom design
further. I decided to visit JCK this year.

I’ve spent almost a day with Matrix people. Firstly, I was pleased
with how the demo started, we exchanged few ideas, and I really
thought that the 2 guys knew what they were talking about.

As we went along, sales pressure started, and when I wanted to see
the software in more details, the demo guy started to “panic”. And I
realized that Matrix has got limitations. I got pissed!

The sales guy tried to explained to me that this software is used by
hundreds of people, introduced me to clients on his booth telling me
how great is the tech support, etc… Anyway, at some point I left
the show.

The day after, I went to check on 3Design. I saw it at Stuller
booth. Kamal was demoing it, and Russ took me through his demo. Let
me tell you something : even if the booth was crowdy, Russ and I had
fun with the software for half-hour and then I knew I was on
something interesting. Beleive me, when you spend that much to visit
JCK for 2 days just to see CAD, this demo brought me back some hope
(the day before was just a bad day). Since I’ve been told that
Matrix is mostly used in our country, I was not sure about going
with 3Design or not, but I was so excited by it. I left the booth to
think about it, and I met another 3Design demo guy at Progress Tool.
The guy was just the one I wanted to meet. He took me throught
things that Russ did not. To pass the details, as I was heading to a
MJSA seminar, another 3Design booth.

This one was Vision numeric, the company developping 3Design
software. The girl there (Emily I think) sat with me, and we spend
some time on doing a job. For any question, I had an answer. She
could do whatever I wanted. Very impressed.

I went for a late lunch, to decide what to do. For their parametric
tree, for their interface, for their material database, for their
rendering, for their wizards, and because Emily impressed me, I
thicked 3Design. Philippe took me trough prices, and I signed up for
2 copies. I tried hard to negotiate a show deal, but whatever…

Later on, I flew down to Atlanta. My daughter is in Georgia Tech, so
I could see her as well. I spent 3 days with Sylvain, the trainer.
When I arrived, I was still wondering if I picked the right
software. We started the training, with another jeweler from
Charlotte.

After 3 days, I felt as a true jewlery cad designer. Sylvain teaches
well, is very patient, takes time to go back if necessary and his
training is smooth. Of course, he is not a jeweler, but really a
very good trainer and tech support guy.

As I was there, I’ve also learnt lots about Vision numeric. I was
amazed by their 3D-Engraving background (I studed hand-carving),
with their Type3 package, very good for stamping dies. They’ve been
on the market for nearly 20 years in the jewelry industry. Did you
know that Goodyear is using their Type3 for the lettering around the
tires ? Did you know that all Mint companies around the world use
Type3 to design their coins (including the Euro and the new Dollar
coin) ?

I left the training, and started to practise on my own. I’ve
probably called the tech support 5-6 times at the beginning, and
quickly understood something : their tech support doesn’t receive
much tech calls while I was at the training, simply because 3design
is really easy to use. That’s my explanation, which people may like
or not.

It took me about 4-6 weeks to become a proud “expert”. I closed
several sales thanks to 3Design. I got my money back now. I know
that among the jewelers in Minneapolis area I recommended the
software to, 5 of them has purchased it.

To finish, let me tell you something : jewelers are not dummies,
they are not afraid by computers, they are afraid of sales guys. CAD
is new for almost all jewelers, and they don’t want to be fooled by
sales guys. You do not need to buy the software company, just buy the
software package and practise on your own. Training is strongly
recommended.

Stop speculating, get 3Design and move on !!

Regards.

Bill,
St Paul, MN


#8

William,

I've spent almost a day with Matrix people. Firstly, I was pleased
with how the demo started, we exchanged few ideas, and I really
thought that the 2 guys knew what they were talking about. As we
went along, sales pressure started, and when I wanted to see the
software in more details, the demo guy started to "panic". And I
realized that Matrix has got limitations. I got pissed! 

What were the names of the two sales weasels who did the demo?

What are Matrix’s “limitations”? I have spent the last 4+ years
looking for them, and really haven’t found them as of yet. There are
certain limitations within Rhino, and that’s why McNeel is bringing
out version 4. It will correct the few problems that the software
has, such as the infamous booleen issues and now being able to bend
and apply solid objects to surfaces and curves. When it is finished
it will be extremely powerful.

Are you telling me that 3design has no limitations? I did like the
software but I do not believe that there is anything that you can do
that I can not, and vice versa. They work somewhat similarly, but use
different tools and strategies to get there. After having used
Matrix, I do not think that it would take too long to be able to pick
up 3design. The only difficulty that I see would be knowing what
each symbol did.

It took me about 4-6 weeks to become a proud "expert". I closed
several sales thanks to 3Design. I got my money back now. I know
that among the jewelers in Minneapolis area I recommended the
software to, 5 of them has purchased it. To finish, let me tell
you something : jewelers are not dummies, they are not afraid by
computers, they are afraid of sales guys. CAD is new for almost
all jewelers, and they don't want to be fooled by sales guys. You
do not need to buy the software company, just buy the software
package and practise on your own. Training is strongly recommended. 

If you really mastered that program in 4-6 weeks you truly are a
genius, or had a previous cad background. That is NOT the usual
occurance for those who purchase a CAD/CAM program. There is a steep
learning curve involved NO MATTER WHAT PROGRAM YOU CHOOSE. The
amount of time you put in the program directly determines your
success or failure with it. MOST people who do cad work did NOT
learn it in 4-6 weeks.

I strongly disagree with your assertions that it is NOT the company.
Gemvision has gone way way overboard with their tutorials and their
forum and other educational materials for their users. When you have
60 on line tutorials you have pretty much covered the entire
spectrum of what techniques and tools that you will need to be able
to do the work that you need to do. Additionally, it is an on line
library so that you can return to it and refresh your knowledge and
to check out why the process that you are trying to use isn’t
working. There are certain techniques and tools that you will only
use once in a great while. You may or may not remember all the steps
involved and if you don’t do them in the right order or pick certain
lines out of that order you are not going to get it to work.

I am quite familiar with Vision Numeric software, and who uses it.
You did not mention that Type Edit is used by many class ring
companies. But if you call the company and they don’t bother to send
you that you request, or follow up to see if you got the
…they aren’t much good are they?

William, there is a reason that Gemvision has sold well over 1000
copies in the VERY SHORT time that they have been selling Matrix. I
do not think that Vision Numeric has sold that many copies in the
US. Perhaps Kamal can shed some light on their sales volume.
Gemvision’s Matrix is gaining new users at an amazing rate…and
there is a good reason for that.

David


#9

David,

I am sure you realize that saying “If there was a better software
out there I would be using it” or “there is no better company to work
with than Gemvision” are statements far from being shared by 3Design,
ArtCam, Jewelcad or Solidworks users (to named just a few software
solutions). Several other persons already answered that the software
they are using is the BEST software for jewelry design. And myself, I
am convinced that 3Design is the best software. Of course, being a
3Design distributor myself in Downtown Los Angeles, I can’t have an
unbiased opinion but certainly my customers will also disagree with
you otherwise how I can explain that they chose 3Design. I even have
customers who were using Matrix in the past and decided to switch to
3Design for various reasons… So how can we explain so many
differences of opinions if there is really one software much better
than the others?

You said that you have been a Matrix user since version 1 which, I
believe, means about 5 years. I am also using 3D CAD software for
many years and I know that after spending so much time working on a
single software, it is difficult and often impossible to try and
learn a new software. Being too much absorbed working with one
software, having seen it grown, improved with newer versions, having
spent countless hours trying to figure it out, cursing at it after it
crashes and blessing it when finally a difficult job is completed,
you can’t have a fair judgment anymore because it becomes emotional.
Even if you realize that an other solution exists better than your
current software, you won’t probably want to start all over again and
learn it but you will keep your “old software buddy” even if it isn’t
flawless but because you used it for so many years and that you can
now be considered as an “expert” user.

Can you really compare several years of expertise versus a 1 or
2-hour demonstration? Can you judge a software from one design
project? Honestly, I don’t think so. Obviously you found a software
that works for you but does it mean that every jeweler who wants to
start using Jewelry CAD software will have the same success by using
the same software?

The best advice I could give to anyone interested into learning
about CAD Software would be to see at least one online demo of every
software and quickly 1 or 2 favorites will certainly emerge based on
your specific priorities. If possible try them and even invest into
training classes and before soon you will know which software is the
BEST solution for YOU.

If you are interested to see what is 3Design software about and if
you are located in the US West Coast, email me at
info@3designsoftware.com or call me at 213-624-6321 (my name is
Cyril Saelens) to schedule your first online demonstration. Since I
am only an authorized distributor of 3Design for the West Coast, I
will forward your request to the corporate company Vision Numeric if
you are from other parts of the US or from different countries.

Cyril


#10

I use several different software programs because each one has its
own unique characteristics. Software is like a tool just like ball
and cross peen hammers. They all leave different marks. Decide what
you want to do then look for the software that will best do it.

There was a good article in MJA magazine by Susanne Wade comparing
the different programs. I have a copy if you can’t find it from the
magazine.

Eventhough I am in the article I have no connection with the
publication. It was just a good article.


#11

Cyril

Sorry to disagree, but I would drop Matrix like a hot potato if
there was a better software out there, or one that would make my job
easier.

I do use other softwares besides Matrix, and I have three different
G-code generating programs that I use. Each of these programs
provides different toolpathing opportunities and strengths. I will
use whichever one doe the best for the job that I want to cut. I
will additionally generate part of a toolpath in one software and
part of the path in another software. This way I can take advantage
of what each program does best.

I also make things in ArtCam and bring the stl over into Matrix. I
will run with anything that makes things easier and faster for me. I
use ArtCam on a regular basis…but only for its strengths, which is
heightfield from bitmap work. I think it is absolutely the BEST
software out there for this type of work. I think ArtCam is
excellent software, but it is notfor everything, in my opinion. I
can do things much easier and faster in Matrix. Matrix CAN do
heightfield from bitmap tasks, and I do use it some, but Artcam is
simply a much better program for handling this type ofwork.

I have copies of Stenza, JewelCad, Cimigraphi, Iron Cad, and I don’t
even know how many other programs that I have and have looked at.

As you stated:

Re: statements far from being shared by 3Design, ArtCam, Jewelcad
or Solidworks users (to named just a few software solutions).
Several other persons already answered that the software they are
using is the BEST software for jewelry design. And myself, I am
convinced that 3Design is the best software. 

The difference here is that I have USED and been exposed to many
many other softwares beside Matrix. You have no idea how many ArtCam
users I have spoken with that are adamant about the fact that Artcam
is a better software than Matrix. They will argue, rant and rave
about how much better it is. What usually stops them dead in their
tracks is when I ask them if they have ever used or seen a demo of
Matrix. When they are forced to admit that they have never even seen
another software the wind goes out of their sails in a hell of a
hurry. They even get more flustered when they find out that I use
ArtCam too. They can’t understand why I would use Matrix. I have
converted/perverted a few, and opened up their minds. And the
demonstration that I got was 6 hours, well presented and easily
understood by myself. And having the background that I have I would
have to say that I really do feel qualified to make a determination
about a software program (CAD) in that period of time. I DID like
3Design and the some of the things it did. It is NOT bad software, I
just think Matrix still has the edge. It certainly has the edge when
it comes to number of users and sales. 3Design doesn’t even come
close to the number of sales that Matrix has.

BEST…is mostly a matter of opinion, and as you stated those who
use one particular type and have gone through different versions
usually name that type. But they really can’t give you a reason.

My reason for liking Matrix is simple IT IS AN ENTIRELY JEWELRY
SPECIFIC INTERFACE. The sole purpose of the program is to use it to
make jewelry with. It is not really good for making baseboards and
molding, or cabinet doors. ArtCam, however is also

good for these things. Gemvision regularly consults its users and
pays for their lodging and food for roundtable discussions where
they ask the users what they want the program to do. They respond
quickly to make the program work for it’s user base.

I have friends that work for Artcam, and constantly hear stories
about how difficult it is to get DelCam to change things. It is only
since they have had some competition that they have been forced to
make improvements.

I thought that 3Design was a good program, I was somewhat impressed
with it. I really thought how they do the little wraparound trick
with the way they make rings from 3 sided drawings was very cleaver.

I honestly think that if I were to spend a full day with the
trainers and have lessons to work on that I could be working
proficiently with the software in a very short time. My only problem
with it is that there are so many little icons and you would have to
become familiar with what they do. The bottom line is that there is
nothing that you can do with that software that I can’t do with
Matrix.

That fact being equal the only difference is the company behind the
product. I know what Gemvision does. I have also had some experience
now with Vision Numeric…and have heard a host of stories about
Vision numeric.

I will stick with Gemvision.

Have you ever heard of JEWELSPACE? It was a program that was an
overlay for Truespace. The interface was a confusing nightmare.
Anyhow, it was cheap, suckered in a lot of people, had no support and
died an early and painfull death.

Until a software has widespread usage, and a proven track record,
and an excellent training resource, I think you are really taking a
chance gettng involved with it.

None of this is meant to denigrate ANY other software. If it works
for you. then it’s a good program. Personally I am fascinated by
CAD/CAM in general and really get a kick out of investigating and
working with ANY CAD or CAM program.

David


#12
Sorry to disagree, but I would drop Matrix like a hot potato if
there was a better software out there, or one that would make my
job easier. 

I’m not going to pretend I’m expert in this field, 'cos I’m not. The
guy who does CAM for me occasionally LOVES Matrix. What I hear about
Artcam is there is little support, and the help files are a huge,
pathetic, joke. I think SolidEdge is great for non-jewelry specific.
That is “Edge”, not “Works”. What I’m going to say, though, is to
reinforce what David says, above. There is no perfect computer
program. I have 4 or 5 programs for almost every serious task,
because none of them do everything. So, I’ll work on a picture in one
program, using it’s strengths, feed it to another, and maybe print it
with another. Photoshop is great for anything photography, but the
print routine in Paint Shop Pro can’t be beat, for example. In the
end, as with all things, as long as the programs are competent and
well-behaved, it mostly boils down to look-and-feel and user comfort
for the MAIN program one uses - “This works for me…”

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#13
There is no perfect computer program. 

Replying to my own post LOL. But an addendum to my comment, even
though it’s not CAD. Maybe the Ex-Macromedia line approaches
perfection. Dreamweaver in particular is just a joy to use…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#14

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/cad-cam-what-works-for-you

David,

Matrix has many limitations, if you havent found them it means you
are not using the software to its full extent, I suggest you
challenge yourself and your software rather than just pump this
forum full of your hot air. You havent found them and so deny their
existence yet in the same breath say that they are going to fix the
limitations is Matrix, Bravo Bravo.

I used to be one of you, A matrix user who because he had invested
so much time and money in this software, I waved the rhino flag to
make myself feel better about making my investment. The folly of it
all.

Sure 3Design has limitations but you are wrong. Its not a matter of
I can do to what you can and visaversa. Its who has to do less work
to get a better result. 3Design is so simple, easy interface I can
do the same as you, I can do more work in a shorter time span and
achieve a better result.

By the way 3Design can do more than matrix, can do filigree with
ease, text on surface. Matrix has a lame attempt at these functions.
3Design has help function when you run mouse over tool icon it tells
you what is does so no need to read through books, its all at your
finger tips.

Quote “If you really mastered that program in 4-6 weeks you truly
are a genius, or had a previous cad background. That is NOT the usual
occurance for those who purchase a CAD/CAM program. There is a steep
learning curve involved NO MATTER WHAT PROGRAM YOU CHOOSE. The amount
of time you put in the program directly determines your success or
failure with it. MOST people who do cad work did NOT learn it in 4-6
weeks”

This shows how little you have investigated 3Design and how little
you know. Software does not have to become more complex to be more
advanced. 3Design is much more advanced than any other jewellery
software on the market and is much easier to learn, Granted I came
from a matrix background but after only 3 Days of training I was
creating more pieces of a higher quality in a much quicker time than
it would take me in Rhino, 3 Days. It took me about six months to
get the basics in Rhino and that was after doing 2 year course in 3D
graphics & Cad/Cam at University.

3Design is unique in the 3d industry. Not only is it more advanced
that its competitors, Not only is it easier to use, Not only is it
more ergonomic, Not only does it run smoother and is a much more
stable platform, Not only does it produce a higher quality STL file,
but the software is PARAMETRIC. If this is the only defining feature
then its still miles ahead of the rest.

PARAMETRIC for newcomers is masically a history tree that tracks
tools used. e.g. So you make a ring from step 1 to step 20, you can
change a step at any time say step 10, any other program you have to
undo, undo, undo with 3Design just find the step make a change and
the software recalculates the whole design based upon those changes.
This means the more work you do with 3Design the less work you have
to do. I know have a libary of over two hundred design, customers
can just walk into the store, pick a design, I then resize the ring
and the settings make an alteration or two and within fiveminutes I
can show customer and send file of for RP.

In regards to tutorials, Yes Vision Numeric has about 10. Thats all
they seem to need they cover all the tools and functions.

Rhino needs over sixty tutorials, Why? becasue the software is
difficult to use, its hard to articulate what the function will
actually achieve, the interface is not intuitive, Its not in
Jewellery terms.

I do know of a few users in the UK that use 3Design, but 3Design is
aimed at a higher end of jewellers than your average Retail outlet
or backyard designers. 3Design is aimed at high end jewellers and
large scale manufacturers and as I have found this is where the
product is placed. I do not know of a casting or Rp company that has
not converted or is not considering conversion.

I have never had a problem with Vision Numeric staff they have
always been very helpful, but I delt directly with the HQ in France.

There is a big difference in culture between “Gemvision
Rhino/Matrix” and “Vision Numeric 3Design”, Vision Numeric know the
limits of there product and the technology in general and do not
talk about other products, in fact when ever I asked them to compare
3Design with another they said consult the other company they no
more about thier products.

“Rhino/Matrix” did not shutup about the competiton they spent over
an hour of my demo trying to bag out 3Design then moved on to
artcam. As far as I am concearned “Gemvision” do not have enough
positive points about thier software to talk about so they try
belittle the competition. The fact they lied on several occasions
about the competition lost them my business.

3Design and Rhino, it does not take a genius to see the huge
advantage 3Design has over Rhino. 3Design is the leading solution for
3D Jewellery creation and for good reason. Have a half hour demo of
3Design and a Half hour demo of Matrix and you will agree to, its
completly obvious.


#15
I suggest you challenge yourself and your software rather than just
pump = this forum full of your hot air. 

Well, I guess I will bow in humble submission, to you, as far as
filling the forum with hot air.

I DO in fact use other software beside Matrix. I also use 3 separate
CAM programs. What works best for me, and what I use the most often,
is Matrix and Deskproto. I find myself using these two programs most
often. I also use Artcam. I have Cimigraphy, JewelCad, Stenza,
IronCad, and a few others.

You seem to sell/demonstrate 3Design and therefor would have an
interest in confusing issues. I don’t sell anything, I just use it
to make a living. The primary reason that I investigated 3Design in
the first place is that I am ALWAYS OPEN to any better way of doing
things or a software that would make more money for me or make my
job easier. I do enough CAD work that I can easily justify the
expense of ANY software on the market that would give me the ability
to do the job better, quicker, and more efficiently. If I thought
that there was a better program on the market that would be easier to
use and make more money for me than Matrix I WOULD ALREADY OWN IT.

I attended a 6 hour demonstration of 3Design. During the
demonstration the TRAINER (from Atlanta) was asked by the person who
the demo was for, to make a set of rings based on a picture that he
provided. The moral of the story is that the trainer was not able to
make the rings to the satisfaction of the person who the demo was
for. By trainer, I mean that this is the person who would actually
do the training that you would pay for and use those 10 fabulous
lessons that I mentioned. The rings that this guy was asked to make
were not all that difficult but had specific elements that were
necessary to be incorporated in the ring to make it work properly.
The best part of this was that the person who the demo was for did
not choose these two rings in an effort to trip up any software
company. Artcam failed at it too. The rings that the guy wanted to
have madewere for an actual customer. I walked away from the demo
and got paid to make the rings in Matrix. The wedding band took me
15 minutes and the engagement ring which was in two pieces and
complicated took about 90 minutes. I made two widths of the
engagement ring during this time too. I have about 6 years of CAD/CAM
experience and trust me, I asked all the tough questions and got a
thorough demonstration of the 3Design.

I did think that parts of 3Design were interesting and I was
impressed with some of the features of the program. I also found it
rather deficient in other areas. However, I could not find any
significant reason to purchase it or to invest ANY time in to
learning the program (which I agree it would be easy to learn) Simply
put, I saw no advantage, for me, to having or learning 3Design. I
did call the company to ask about something else. Great customer
service, I am still waiting for the that I asked for 3
months ago. I have heard the same thing from others too. Trust me
the USA office leaves much to be desired, in my opinion.

The parametric part of the program is not nearly so important as you
make it out to be. If you know how to build things in Matrix and how
to save them in a progressive manner in the matrix Project folders,
it is easy to accomplish the same thing. I just made a company
ring/award that had 3 panels on it. I was able to make up 3 separate
rings, on the fly, using elements that I had saved in the project
folder, in front of a customer, giving them the ability to choose
what they wanted. I was easily able to switch things around to
different parts of the ring and was able to have all three rings on
the screen at the same time, and able to render them on the fly for
the customer to see what they would look like. The net result was an
order for 13 rings with Russian melle. Thats what it’s all about,
getting the money, NOT what software you use. I don’t give a damn
what software it took to make the piece, I just want the job and the
money.

Both softwares have limitations, no software is perfect. If 3Design
does it for you…thats great. If you used 3 Design and I used Matrix
to make a ring from a picture that someone showed both of us, giving
specifics about shank thickness, width dimensions and diamond or
stone size the results will be amazingly similar. AS THEY SHOULD BE.

David


#16

Hi David,

Great email…

1000% agreed. I am using JewelCAD since 3 years now and I feel that
every thing whatever I think I can design it in JewelCAD. I asked
some questions from 3Design lady from france but still waiting… No
reply…

Any way I will add that if you are good… then any of mentioned
software can give you amazing results…otherwise… it will be just
waste of money…,

Tusif


#17

I wish I understood at least half of the tech stuff involved here.
Interesting though, in light of cad cam will become a must have in a
good working shop.

Let me ask, generally speaking, do finished products get the 'look’
you envisioned when you first sat down to design? Does the available
tech wizardry ever (even subtly) morph your design ideas?


#18
Let me ask, generally speaking, do finished products get the 'look'
you envisioned when you first sat down to design? Does the
available tech wizardry ever (even subtly) morph your design
ideas? 

For most people, it allows you to do things you couldn’t do by hand.

David Geller

David Geller
JewelerProfit
www.JewelerProfit.com


#19

Neil

Let me ask, generally speaking, do finished products get the 'look'
you envisioned when you first sat down to design? Does the
available tech wizardry ever (even subtly) morph your design ideas? 

That would be a hard question for me to answer. See if this helps.

I do a lot of work for other jewelers and am usually instructed as to
what the “look and feel” of the piece will be. I also do work for
other CADpeople. I get the jobs they can’t do. Today I took in a job
for a bezel like pendant, from another jeweler. The instructions on
the envelope told me to make it 4 mm thick, shared prongs and the
bezel walls to be .75mm thick. Bale on top would be round tube like.
This doesn’t lend itself for creativity. Other times I am given a
picture and told that this is the look and feel that they want (of
course their stones are never the same sizes as in the picture) so
you get as close to what they show you with what they have. Sometimes
they bring you multiple pictures and tell you they like this from one
picture and that from another. They want you to blend different
styles and elements. Sometimes it’s possible sometimes it is not.
Today, I actually had a man bring a shotgun into the store to make a
pendant from his gun. He had a pendant that his wife wears but it was
a very lousy thin piece of crap. He saw a Thompson submachine gun
that I did and that is what started the conversation and planted the
idea in his head to get something much more lifelike. We took a
picture of his gun, and later he will bring in his wifes gun and we
will take a ph= oto of it too so that I have a reference as to what
it should look like. = These are not run of the mill shotguns but
double barrel over and underswith 4 interchangeable barrels. The 5-7K
and up type of expensive weapon. They were skeet shooters. I also was
asked to make a mounting for a 3 ct. Princess cut with diamonds on
the side coming up to a trellis like underbezel and it would also
have 4 princess cuts on the sides of the main diamond. I kicked that
one back for more specific I want to know the EXACT size
of the diamonds that he plans on using on the out sides of the band
and up the sides of the head. I also wanted to know what thickness
and width he felt the shank should be. He never talked about a finger
size. So sometimes the first contact that you have on any level with
a customer is just to see if you think that the job is possible

If you are just going to make something just for the fun of it and
don’t really know where it is going to end up…then yes you can use
some of the capabilities and tricks, or builders that are enclosed
with each program. Some programs handle things differently than
others, some have their specific quirks and or specialties. Some
will handle “organic” looks better than others. That’s why I am
always looking and investigating other programs than what I have.
Some programs are great for certain particular types of work but
much more difficult to use for other types of jobs. In my opinion
there is always room for a better way to do things. But like I said
before I am really happy with Rhino/Matrix. So far I have found it
to be a good program that will handle most everything that I need to
do with it. JewelCad is another program that is quite widely used in
the orient. It is a powerful program and has a big jewelry library.
It works similarly to how Rhino does in some respects and will get
the job done.

If you are looking into getting into CAD there is absolutely no
cheaper way to do it than with a student version of Rhino. I think
that it is like $300 for a student version and $900 for the full
version. Training is reasonable too. If you can add Tech Gems to
that, you have a really great combination that will do most jewelry
type work.

David


#20
I think that it is like $300 for a student version and $900 for the
full version. 

That’s a lot less than I would have thought

Now let me ask further…are the resultant design files usable by
any CAM machine? Must the cad and cam be of the same type? can they
be translated if need be?

Thanks