It’s been a crazy week or I would have responded to this thread
earlier. First, let me state that I am a Jewelry Designer here in NYC,
and I have been completely digital for more than two years. My clients
include some premier hand-made manufacturers, as well as some of the
largest mass manufacturers in our industry. I do not represent or sell
It would be helpful if you could answer some questions:
A) What type of computer system are you using now? B) In what capacity
do you function as a Jewelry Designer? ie. Are you primarily a "paper"
designer, doing sketches and mechanical drawings, or are you more of
a “model maker” creating pieces in either wax or metal? C) Are you
working in-house for someone, or are you free-lance, working from
home? D) If you are working in-house, are they willing to help support
your involvement with digital technologies? E) Do any of your clients
currently use Computer Aided Manufacturing technolgies within their
operation, and if so wich ones?
In the mean-time I would like to comment on some of what has been
said on this topic during this most recent thread.
First, there is no “industry standard” for software in the jewelry
industry, although as you may have sensed, a number of software
manufacturers would like there to be. The jewelry industry is just
now beginning to really embrace these technologies. I might also add
that it is unlikely that there ever will be an industry standard
software, any more than there is for automotive design, industrial
design, textile design, toy design etc.
Second, that all of the products listed so far on this thread are
being used to good effect for jewelry design. They all have their
strengths and weaknesses, and there is a real professional advantage
to being familiar with as many of them as possible.
Third, there has been no mention of the usefullness of basic,
inexpensive graphics software for jewelry design. A number of these
programs can be used very effectively during the design process and
they are Mac friendly, which might be an important issue for some
Fourth, another category of software being ignored in this
conversation is the really high-end engineering based application.
Included in this category would be SDRC’s Ideas, Pro Engineer, Alias,
Catia and others. It has been my experience that these are the types
of applications being used in most of the large manufacturing
companies currently utilizing CAD/CAM profitably. While these products
are well out of reach for many of us, meeting the needs of our clients
using them (effective file format transfers etc.) can be an important
Anyway, the whole CAD/CAM arena is a fascinating new facet of the
jewelry industry. It can be expensive, there is a genuine learning
curve, and the truth is you don’t need any of it to create wonderful
jewelry. But that being said, I’d never go back to “analog”.
Catrina, if you wouldn’t mind responding to the questions above, I
would be delighted to continue this conversation. You may also feel
free to contact me directly at: @knelson
All the best,