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Aloha True (William), Thank you for the invite. I would be happy
to discuss CNC and CAD/CAM. I have a few questions in regard to
your system, but that will keep. First if you are designing your
part in Rhino, you can only import the data as an IGES or as a
.DXF, into BobCAD (and I don’t think, 3D DXF). Importing as a
IGES, it depends on the translator in BobCAD, on what will come
in. The geometry may come in separated (as separate pieces) that
may need to be stitched together. I would be happy to explain
this, later. It may be better in the beginning, to work in a 2D
drafting (AutoCAD or QuickCAD) or drawing package (like Corel),
as a 2D .DXF. Bring the art into BobCAD and dimension it (even do
it all in BobCAD, if it can). Personally, I have never used it
(BobCAD), so I don’t know it’s capabilities. (Shopfloor and
amateur machinists like it and the price.) Once you have
dimensioned your part, you need to specify you tooling (tool
geometry), speeds and feeds. Then you run a toolpath. Once you
have a toolpath, you have to postprocess the file specifically
for your Millmaster Pro control software. You put that on a disk
or hard drive (the outputted G- code file), open it in Millmaster
Pro and run it (make sure your spindle is on and you already
zeroed your tool (where you told it x,y,z 0 was)). This should
run the mill and cut the part (of course, within the limitations
of the controller software and the limitations of the mill
itself). Remember to use the correct postprocessor, also, to
dimension the art, and set the controller all to metric (or
inches). If not, It could do anything, including drilling to
China. With this in mind, remember to keep your hands clear of
the mill (while running) and wear safety glasses. I hope this
helps, if you have more specific questions, ask me, I’ll help if
I can.

Best Regards,

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking


Greetings from the land of 10,000 lakes.Christian, The name is
True. Cool I hope that we will get others to come on line with us
. Let me fill you in as to what I know and what I have. First let
me say thanks, it is good to know that one can bounce questions
around. Iv only had my computer 9 months and mill the same. Back
in the erly 80s I went to school to be a cnc machinist. I worked
for two years doing this.(wish I had in sight then) Ok you know
that I have rhino3d,bobcad, millmasterpro,and my mill is a
shurline with retrofit. It has 4 axis. x,y,z.,and turntable. The
bobcad will take dxf,dgn,and,iges files. Yes you can draw in bob
2d,2.5d,and 3d but it is a pain in the ### I do like rhino3d. Im
stilling trying to get bob down. As of yet Iv not run any thing
on the mill. hopefully this weekend I will try to move a file
from rhino to bob. At this point let me say that If you are
thinking of going cnc DO YOUR HOME WORK.Im not going to give in
now but it is along road. Christian, I just can not get over how
much power the computer has given us.Wish I could come to your
work shop. Thanks True


Hello Christian! I’ve enjoyed reading your messages here on
Orchid, and am grateful for your freely given knowledge. As head
Designer and Floorwasher of my tiny company, I’m on the verge
of buying Modelmaster Art2Part. I was more than a little
disturbed to read your message in early March that Modelmaster
will have a sterolithography device out by Jan. for about 1/2
the price of available units. My question is not IF to buy ,
but What to buy. My main concern is to keep my designs and
prototypes in house, which is why Modelmaster is enticing. I
would not want to contract out the milling work. So, I can wait
till Jan or Feb to buy- or would be very interested in beta
testing the new product. Would love to hear from you off line as
well, and again, thanks for the insight already gleaned.

Rona Fisher
Rona Fisher Jewelry Design, Inc.
Phila. PA


Dear Rona, I am currently using the Model master system and have
another friend who has one. You may contact me if you want some
free advice. I have worked with some stereo lithogrophy units and
can shed some insite. I’m really making (not just designing) some
great stuff with ARTCAM.

Best regards,
TR the teacher


Mr.Hawkinson, Please tell the die hard hand wrought jewelers
about your success (or lack there of, to keep the playing field
equal) with ArtCAM Pro. By the way version 4 is available very
soon with even more powerful features. This technology is worth
its weight in gem grade emeralds, to say the least. But, as was
said before, it’s only a tool. It’s up to the individual to
determine the heights of creativity and excellence to be
achieved. I am a classically trained jeweler, modelmaker and
also a tech rep/trainer for Model Master, so I may have a
partial. I would like to hear of peoples experience with our
system (good, bad or indifferent). In advance, thank you for
your input. We are working on cutting edge technologies to
inhance R&D, modelmaking, manufacturing and world class market
competition. These are real concerns (or should be), from the
largest manufacturer to the home-based entrepreneur. Thank you
again (Mahalo Plenty).

Best Regards,
Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking
(808) 622-9005


To all you CAD CAM folks out there, Computers are here to stay.
CAD CAM is like planning a road in 1950. How big and wide should
we make it? In 1999 / 2000 what is the size and need of that
road? The current state of the art in CAD CAM is in making
components. Anyone who tries to make the whole piece with CAD
CAM will face a lot of frustration. We are really in the infancy
of CAD CAM in the jewelry industry. The best view of success in
the process I can give is to keep a project simple. Here goes-
Take and make a signet ring. Make it as funky or as traditional
as you like. This is where your own style comes in. Now measure
the top and this is where the CAD comes in. You can literally do
hundreds of different designs on top of this style. Now you do
need multiples of your original ring, but you can tool wax or
plastic or metal. Trying to make the whole ring by machine is
still too time consuming. This is really similar to the old
Pantograph work done by some machine shops. More coments to come
in the future.

TR the teacher


Jeez did I ever see this coming…if I were a wax carver I
think I’d start getting into computers pretty quickly. I’ve been
a graphic designer for 25+ years and the computer totally shook
up my profession for good and bad. For good in that it replaced
all my tools, made special effects and photo-retouching much
easier. For bad in that any idiot who can afford a computer now
can get work by misrepresenting him/herself as a graphic artist.
It also destroyed nearly all the typesetting houses that used to
serve the graphics industry and typography as an art virtually

I just hope the computer doesn’t thoroughly kill the wax
carver’s art, but I wouldn’t bet money on it. It won’t be long
before affordable desk top computer driven carving machines will
be around and with some training in 3d programs you’ll be able to
do things a wax carver couldn’t touch. Clip art for jewlery model
makers will happen and the models will be able to be edited into
new designs.


Crystalguy Jewelry, the first art jewelry site on the net
Art jewelry with a mystic touch / Now accepting credit cards
Paddle Jewelry for River Addicts



Clip art for models is already here just get a copy of jewel

cad. It has libraries of 3d models of jewelry that can be edited
to suit your need. The only thing lacking is a inexpensive output
device. I may be wrong about this but I do not be live that cheap
wax carving or build up is on the way any time soon. The reason
for this is that there is no mass market for such a device. And
the payoff is just not there for the manufacturers of this kind
of equipment. Printers were driven down in price because every
one who had a computer wanted a printer but only model makers
are going to want a wax carving or build up machine.


James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601


Dear Dave. Until a five axis CNC milling maching cost drops below
$20,000.00 wax carvers have little to fear. The reason is any
undercuts in the design. They can’t be cut with our present
mills. By an undercut I mean a part of the design that sticks
out, like a full beak on a carved bird. Presently the patterns
have to come straight of slightly angled off the the mandrel
and up to the top of your design. The best examples of present
state of the art CAD CAM are class rings. The designs are all
drawn or imported to the design program, scaled to fit the ring
side and tooled into the mold or model. In a previous comment I
said and still maintain that CAD components are the best we are
producing profitably right now. I do agree with your view of the
future, because stereolithography when perfected will give us a
true 3-D wax to cast.

In case any of you don’t know what stereolithography is let me
explain. It is the smallest build up of wax fron a small jet
theat deposits it on a base. It appears to grow right in front
of your eyes. If you have seen an ink jet printer work you are
looking at a form of stereolithography. But instead of having
the paper slide away from the jet, keep lifting it away from
the jet as the wax is coming out and the program slides the jet
or the base back and forth until the parts grows layer by layer.
When the surface of the grown pattern does not appear like an
orange peel and when the price of that refined unit drops I will
consider getting one.

All the Best
TR the Teacher

Jewelry Dept.
Minneapolis Community & Technical College


Aloha Todd, I think you may not fully understand the capabilities
of a four axis or a five axis mill. A four axis mill can do a
lot more, than you think. It is all in the method of machining,
your setup and tooling. Tetrahedral machining practices will
allow machining of a part from different sides, using proper
jigs, fixtures and design strategies. Also many things can be
done on the rotary table (4th axis), using proper design
strategies. You may be limited on what you can do, by the tool
geometry availability (or lack there of), inherent in the CAM
software itself. (Among other things.) A 5 axis mill will not
machine all under cuts, either. I hope you look at the machine
as a tool and also understand that it just like picking up a saw
for the first time. Remember all those broken 6/0 and 4/0 saw
blades? Proper techniques and experience are also the key to
this technology. You may want to look at manual machining
techniques and apply them to CNC. I hope this helps.

Best Regards,

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking
(808) 622-9005


Dear Christian, I’m very aware of many possibilities with CAD.
I’ve been a trainer and consultant to Jostens on and off for four
years now. What their engineers are doing with CAD would blow
your mind.What I am addressing in my Orchid coments is the state
of the art in real and affordable CAD CAM for the small to mid
sized designer / manufacturer. Many jewelers being such hands on
workers of metal don’t transition into computers well (me
included). What I am doing is developing some basic CAD CAM
processes that we can understand, hold in our hands and afford to
produce. I feel strongly that if a machine can make a better
product, it should make it. Crowns for diamonds are a good
example. A real goal for CAD CAM is to make real affordable
products. My CAD CAM sistem has cost me under $10,000.00 and I am
tooling incredible components that I will take and make into
custom designs. The cost on most technology is initially high
and I feel the sales of this technology is misleading. More
examples of actual CAD products need to be available.

Best Regards,
TR the Teacher



Thanks very much for the feedback. Perhaps a few more of the
group will get a little excited that you’ve had a positive

Good news, Jewelcad is now only $2000.00 since the Basel show.
The software has become even more sofisticated. I think the
demos that I sent out did include being able to weigh the piece.
Try it, you’ll like it. If it is to heavy, you can easily remove
material and weigh it again.

We had lots of questions at the Basel and MJSA shows. Instant
success, we have already sold systems demonstrated at Basel.

Don’t forget the Sanders ModelMaker can build anything. The
designers are getting really creative because their is no need to
worry how it will be manufactured. We also had a chain that was
built on the ModelMaker. Of course, how do we cast it. If you
wanted to build a chain, put a spur on each link.

If you’re planning on attending JCK, come by and get a free
jewelcad, we’re in the Gesswein Booth. If you want to buy one,
email me and we’ll arrange it.

If anyone is interested in a MM6 with full warranty and spare
jets for under $30K, let me know, I’ll put you in touch with him.

See you at JCK and don’t forget to come by the Gesswein Booth to
get you Orchid pin.



hi Todd, Thanks so much for giving your time and advice on these
programs! After somewhat superficially checking out available
programs, I thought that Modelmaster would be the most help
because of the mill. I just e-mailed you at your office or
studio at the university? Sorry, it’s been a very long day.

But, yes, it seemed to me that stereolithography is not quite
what I need- for the money, I don’t want to sit there anyway
finishing my wax. I’m right in the thick of it here- right on the
front lines of the Time vs Money battle. I have a small
production line and of course am always trying to save time and
upgrade the integraty of the pieces. Good working models save
time and aggrivation on the bench. Like i said to you in my other
e-mail-I think you’ve already saved me a lot of frustration by
not attempting to cut the whole piece, but rather parts of a

Thanks so much for just being there on the frontier, and I’m
sure i’ll be banging on your door once I get going- I’m due for
class in Aug.

Bye for now,


Sue, there are two firms in my building who are doing computer
design and ‘rapid prototyping’ in plastic/wax for lost wax casting.
Another friend, also in this building, is a trained jeweler/
designer (has won International prizes) and is doing CAD/CAM . Call
first, and drop by my showroom, and I will introduce you.
David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings