Choosing CAD program

Hi all,

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to dipping a toe or two
into the rising “CAD” tide, and have been looking at Rhino, Matrix,
JewelCAD and others, and it finally dawned on me to ask my Orchid
friends for your opinions on the various offerings. Basically, I’m
looking for a more effective way of turning my design ideas into more
tangible (albeit temporarily virtual) forms, in order to both better
communicate them to prospects, and then transfer them into solid
form, when one of those prospects decides they like one enough to
move forward with it.

Given the kinds of pricetags I’ve been seeing, lately, and the fact
that the primary focus will most likely continue to be (or revolve
around) my lapidary work, I don’t expect that I’ll find many CAM
production packages in my budget range, but if any of you have
suggestions and insights you can share with me regarding ways of
translating my current sheaths of pen-and-ink sketches and renderings
into 3D files that I can then take to friends who have milling or
printing capacities, I’d appreciate hearing them. My two most
important criteria are likely to be the quality of the finished
products and the time savings, since I only have so much “me” to go
around, but need to produce finished metalworks with as much
attention to detail as the gems I’ll be featuring in them.

Thanks in advance, everyone, and a Happy Father’s Day to all to whom
it applies!


Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design, LLC
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690
Fax: (508) 586-5677

Hello, I use Delcams Jewel smith. I also use modelmaster mills. I
know this program and mill are expensive but they are really great
and I think worth every penny. You can get very very good results
surface wise and create thing that are beyond your imagination. You
can do so many things that your creativity wil get ahead of you!!

You will have to put in time because with cad, there is a learning
curve no doubt. You really have to practice, practice practice.

I think this idea that you can make something saleable after a week
of training is laughable. [At least for me it was]. Yes, you can make
things but you probably won’t want to sell them or be that happy with
them at first.

Really, you have to mill your work and look at it over to see what
you want to change. You will want to make small changes and then
viola! You will have a great interesting piece which no one else can

In terms of financing, you can lease these, [I think that a lease runs about $550 a month]. The labor charge for one custom ring a
month should cover that, and you can make 6 rings a day if you want!

Like I said, be prepared to put in some hours. You have to get
training, don’t scrimp on this it won’t do you any good in the long

I would think that within 2 to 3 weeks of milling you will have
things you really proud of.

Good luck Dennis