I have not played with Firestorm, but from what I understand it
makes it easy to modify existing geometry. The people using Firestorm
on 3DCADJewelry.com all seem to create in something like Rhino and
then send it to Firestorm for editing.
If your end goal is to carve a wax, then I would suggest staying
away from CAD altogether. The expense of the software and computers,
the time you will invest in learning, are only worth it if you can
CAM your finished model. Plus it takes about the same amount of time
to CAD a model as it does to carve. The benefits of CAD are to show a
customer a render for approval, make changes, duplicate something you
made years ago but didn't make a mold of, recover from a bad casting,
I would suggest this:
I draw with a customer and then take my sketches to the computer to
do them in CAD.
CounterSketch is different than the other CAD programs. It's made
for working in front of a customer and is based off of altering
Pick a template, key in dimensions, select number and type of
stones, and Stuller does the actual CAD/CAM/CAST work for you.
However, it's expensive and if there isn't an option in the template
file, you can't do it.
If you truly do want to go the CAD route, the vast majority of
jewelry is designed in Rhino. Matrix, RhinoGold, RhinoRing, etc. are
all automation plugins for Rhino that makes it do things you could do
yourself. Whatever you do, don't buy a plugin until you see how you
like Rhino. If you can't swim in Rhino you will drown in Matrix. And
then you are stuck with a very expensive piece of software no one
will buy from you.
I have a bunch of links I can share for learning Rhino.