There are several software companies out there, with good and bad
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 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
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
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
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
Stop speculating, get 3Design and move on !!
St Paul, MN