I instruct CAD here on the net. I am glad you have done your
homework in looking at possibilities.
Originally, I believe, Rhino by McNeel and Assoc. was created for
making boats and plane models from its NURBS/surfacing application.
Since then, many companies use Rhino as its foundationary math for
their products, ie., Matrix, RhinoGold and others as Plug-ins. For
pure cost and funtionality in doing other than jewelry, and jewelry,
I would go with Rhino. But, who’s to say you still can’t make other
than jewelry with Matrix or RhinoGold and have the functionality of
the jewelry tools built in? Solidworks is a good program, but is, in
my opinion, a bit harder to learn. I have taught that in the past for
GIA. GIA, under my direction, moved onto Rhino and Matrix for many
reasons, two of which, it gave the student the option to buy the
less expensive software in Rhino, but gave them the foundation of
working in the same playing field as Matrix. Matrix being the jewelry
application and Rhino the overall application. Another reason was
purely the ease of use of each application as one instructor could
teach 15-20 students, whereas, Solidworks needed 2 instructors to
teach 6 students.
If you want to check out some demos go to my site or Rhino’s or
Matrix’s. I always tell my students, whatever you choose, stay with
it as the learning curve is definitely different with all
The Jewelry CAD Institute