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CAD software decision


#1

Hello all,

I have read many conversations here at Orchid about CAD. I am
listening but get very confused. How many choices are there?

Rhino, JewelCAD, GemVision…

What do these things cost? Where do you purchase them? (I know where
to get Jewel CAD -$4k) For someone who is not on the computer all day
except for email and still d=signs and draws by hand-which Software
is the right choice?? I want to be able to build via CAD,present it
to a customer in person, make changes in front of them and so forth.
Which is more user friendly(I know,with lots of
practice,practice…)and which presents a more attractive
presentation to the customers? Any info would be much appreciated.

Brent


#2

Rhinoceros 4.0 jewelry software is the hands down best thing out
there and you can "evaluate it " for free - in my experience
indefinitely…I have had the app for over two years with no thing
more than pesky “want to buy it yet” and survey opportunities showing
up somewhat frequently in the inbox.


#3

Brent,

Choosing what CAD software is right for you is a tough one, it’s
like buying shoes. Only you know what fits and what you are willing
to spend. Although the end product can be very similar with most
jewelry specific CAD software, they vary in price, features, ease of
use and support.

I’d suggest checking out 3dcadjewelry.com, a free forum for users of
all sorts of hardware and software. This is a discussion that
regularly goes on there in detail, involving people who actually use
these various software packages to make a living.

I use 3Design, whose Parametric history feature I feel really sets
it apart, and Freeform for CAD sculpting. Those are good for me and
what I need, but not necessarily someone else’s choices.

Harry
www.harryhamilldesigns.com


#4

Hello

Im wondering if you have any other experiences with other software.
Im just trying to find the most appropriate and easy to learn
software. Even though it seems that rhino is the best, it doesn’t
seem very jeweler friendly


#5

Hi Brent,

One place you might be able to get some exposure to CAD is at your
local community college. A lot of them have courses in CAD. Taking
one of the beginning CAD courses will give you an introduction to cad
& the instructor can probably suggest other courses &
hardware/software as well.

Dave


#6

Every time this topic comes up, I bring this up:

http://www.cnczone.com

A vast resource for machining from small to large, with forums for
every machine and every piece of software that is remotely related
to the field.

Equally vast and excellent is:

http://www.cgsociety.org

Which is 3d graphics from an art point of view (mostly mesh
modeling) - animation, TV, film, etc.

Both are essential resources to me - check them out…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7

Hello all,

I have read many conversations here at Orchid about CAD. I am
listening but get very confused. How many choices are there? Rhino,
JewelCAD, GemVision.. 

That’s not all of them by any means. There’s also Jewelsmith,
3design, Sensable’s Omni/Freeform, Monarch, etc, and lots of other
general-purpose programs that can be used for jewelry.

What do these things cost? 

That varies a lot, but in general the jewelry-specific programs cost
more, if only because they have a smaller potential market.

Where do you purchase them? 

Since you’re online, you can easily look that up by searching for
the name of the program you’re interested in.

(I know where to get Jewel CAD -$4k) For someone who is not on the
computer all day except for email and still d=signs and draws by
hand-which Software is the right choice?? I want to be able to
build via CAD,present it to a customer in person, make changes in
front of them and so forth. Which is more user friendly(I know,with
lots of practice,practice..)and which presents a more attractive
presentation to the customers? Any info would be much appreciated. 

Brent

For on-the-spot jewelry designing with the customer looking over
your shoulder, 3Design is hard to beat. The models on the screen are
always rendered nicely, so gold looks like gold, platinum like
platinum, while gems are the right color, and sparkle when you turn
them. Also, its “parametric” function means that models you have
already done with for example 3 ea. 1-carat stones will
automatically update to handle say 2 ea. 1.5 carat ones, without
having to rebuild the model. This can save a lot of time. Plus it
has a sketch feature which lets you quickly draw a front, top and
edge view of something, then it builds a model that stays within
those lines.

It’s somewhere in the middle as far as ease of use is concerned.
Engineering and animation programs are the most difficult, and
Sensable’s touch-feedback systems are the easiest and most
intuitive. But 3Design is the one that makes the most attractive
screen presentation without having to stop and do an actual render,
which can take some time and expertise to get right.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#8

Hi Brent,

We use Matrix from Gemvision. It is awesome and really it seems to
dominate the market.

http://www.gemvision.com/html/products/matrix/matrix.html

The software is something that you could never really fully master
and it requires a big time commitment, meaning that there are a
number of ways to accomplish any design goal you may have and the
longer you use it the more you seem to learn.There is always another
level you are trying to reach. The rendering component is very
photorealistic, and the support and training are great.We also use
the Revo mill from Gemvision to mill our waxes, we have not been as
happy with that. I think there are other mills on the market that
are less expensive and more precise. It seems that Gemvision designed
the mill to be operated by people who know nothing about CAD CAM, so
all adjustments are done using software. But sometimes mechanical
adjustments need to be done mechanically, and the Revo mill does not
lend itself to that. It works, it just is not quite as precise as we
wish it was. But Matrix is really just fantastic in my opinion.

Mark


#9

There’s a newish add on for Rhino that looks interesting. $400-600 I
think. It’s called Rhinogold. Not to be confused with Wagner’s
Rhinegold. Just Google it and have a look. Rhino+Rhinogold is less
than a lot of the jewelry dedicated and you still have the full
capacity of Rhino without limitations assumed for normal jewelry and
access to all of the other Rhino add-ins if they interest you.

Disclaimers etc.

Justine Wetherington


#10

Another thing one might want to consider in plunking down a lot of
money for any 3d modeling system, is “what can be done with it if
circumstances don’t allow it’s use any more?” i.e going out of
business, decision to move to another program/system, physical
limitations (agravated carpel tunnel), and more reasons.

Some companies (apparently with greedy motives) do not allow the
transfer of the use license, so you can be stuck with a very
expensive piece of software. They think they’re going to sell more of
their programs when the one they sold to you “deadends” in your
hands.

Clay Tools for Rhino from Sensable Technologies has such a
restricting license — in the fine print of course!

Frank F.


#11

Something that is good to know about when shopping for CAD - any
graphics, for that matter: All Cad programs are built on what is
called a “geometric modeling kernel”. That is the base software that
does the calculations, and many of them are licensed. What that means
is that software developers will license the kernel, which is what
does all the real work, and then package it into their own GUI.
Meaning that different software may actually be the same software
where it counts, but just with different buttons and colors. Rhino
uses the OpenNurbs kernel, which is open source software. The other
biggies are Romulus, ACIS, Parasolid and Granite. ACIS is the kernel
for Catia, Alibre, Cimatron, Mastercam and others, Parasolid is the
kernel for NX, Solidworks, Solidedge, MasterCam, OneCNC and many
others.

It’s worth looking into - the cad you’re looking at may not be any
different, really, than the other cad you’re looking at - just the
bells and whistles…Autodesk wrote their own kernel, called
ShapeManager, and I believe I heard that 3Design wrote their own,
too. Matrix I don’t know…Rhino seems like really good software
until you sit down with Solidworks for a time…But it does the
job.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#12
3Design is the one that makes the most attractive screen
presentation without having to stop and do an actual render, which
can take some time and expertise to get right. 

Actually, ArtCAM also does real-time renderings which are very
passable, but Andrew makes a good point…it can take some time and
expertise to do a good rendering.

While a professional rendering is nice, it’s not always practical to
spend the time, unless you’re selling a big job.

I find that a simple screen shot or real-time rendering can more
accurately convey design intent in some cases, than a highly
reflective fancy rendering.

More often than not, I just email my customers a series of screen
captures from different angles done in ArtCAM or Rhino.

Riccardo Costantini developed a really cool free plug-in for Rhino 4
called Auxpecker.

http://auxpecker.blogspot.com

It enables you to do some pretty decent real-time renderings using
reflection maps and textures. It doesn’t do shadows, but you can
Photoshop some in, and you’ll be good to go. A tutorial on the
Auxpecker help page shows how to do it.

Jesse Kaufman