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(Fwd) Jewelry design software


#1

Forwarded Message FollowsDate: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 12:34:43 -0600
To: service@ganoksin.com
From: MRJAKERZ@AOL.COM

Has anyone found a user-friendly jewelry design software
package. That includes a data base of 3D type files with findings
and Ultimately a splined based file that could be
easily created and manipulated using drag and drop capibilities.
Is this asking to much from our computor based society out there?
I am interested in creating designs on my computor in front of
my customers. I have been exploring the different possibilities
including scanned (bitmap images), 3d cad type and the many
drawing packages available. I’ve found most of these solutions
restricting in their innate inability to be “redesigned”. Or the
AutoCad alternative which is used in “Rapid-Prototyping”, our
real future. Which means a huge learning curve realigning
everything we ever knew about modeling. Although this seems to be
the only answer at this time. Anyone out there have any solutions
to offer?


#2

I’ve been looking into jewelry CAD & related areas for some time. Anyone
who finds new developments, please keep me posted. Thanks.

Joel Kahn <@Joel_Kahn>
Comptroller for Maxon’s Jewelers
Diamond Merchants & Estate Jewelers
Authorized Dealer for Rolex & Tag Heuer
2622 S Glenstone, Springfield Missouri 65804 USA
Voice: 417-887-1800 or 417-887-1809
Fax: 417-887-3422


#3

Wish I did,

Think there is a real opportunity here… as has been done for;
- Architecture(kitchens, house design,etc.)
- Plastic surgery
- Hair
- etc.
Jim

At 10:55 AM 11/16/96 +7, you wrote:

Forwarded Message Follows


#4

Hi everyone worldwide,

my name is Stelios and I come from Greece.I’d like from everyone who
has the knowledge and the experience to inform me about which
software you think is the best for jewelry design. I think that
TYPE3.COM and GEMVISION have the best but anyone’s opinion and advice
on which one to choose is acceptable. Notice that it’s the first time
I will use such a software. Please also tell me the reason of your
suggestion.For example which is the easier to use, or which is
nearest the bench working techniques.

I really aprecciate for your time spending
Stelios


#5
Please also tell me the reason of your suggestion.For example which
is the easier to use, or which is nearest the bench working
techniques. 

You asked a very important question “which software is nearest to
the bench working techniques” My answer would be none. All of them,
that I have seen, targeted to casting. Software makes good images,
but that is about it. If you looking for software which would help
you to visualize the actual process of making, it is either
traditional CAD package with rendering capability. The drawback is
that good ones are very expensive.

If you are comfortable with computer graphics, look for software
which is based on CSG, with stands for Constructive Solid Geometry.
Avoid software bases on polygon modeling, nurbs, splines and etc.
They are fine if you making wax models, but for traditional bench
work CSG is the closest.

I had been using POVRay, which is free and much better than
commercial software. If you are using Windows, it is a good choice,
but be prepared to spend some time learning it. It does not work on
Macs any longer, so I am using Adobe Illustrator.

You can also take a look at TurboCAD, which has good CSG capability,
but be warned. I tried it a few years ago and found it to be very
buggy. Whether it was fixed or not, I have no idea.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6

Stelios,

During my tenure at GIA I taught Solidworks, Matrix by Gemvision and
Rhino.

I am quite familiar with Type 3 as well. All have there positives
and negatives.

But in instructing the three first ones for 8 years and now with my
own company, my hand is tipped toward Matrix by Gemvision. I believe
it is most intuitive and can save you time.

You see, I have been a bench jeweler for 30+ years and instructor
business owner for 20+ years. Matrix is produced by a group of
jewelers-programmers that are in it for the betterment of designing.

But I must tell you that it will take hard work no matter what
application you choose. Matrix is the easiest for me to work with
and instruct. You can check out my site thejewelrycadinstitute.com to
see what we might be able to do for your training…at any rate, good
luck!

Russ Hyder
www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com


#7

Stelios… I work with Matrix VI by Gemvision and would highly
recommend the software. While all 3d software takes commitment to
create advanced designs you should be able to be productive very
quickly with the large array of tools, excellent manuals and video
tutorials. Gemvision has an excellent development team upgrading
their software regularly.

I started my career 30 years ago hand fabricating, carving wax and
drawing with pencils. Now after 6 years of owning Matrix my
production is almost exclusively CAD/CAM. I love being able to
create dimensionally accurate models, photorealistic renderings for
the clients approval, and then milling or growing a 3d model
identical to what I had created on my computer. I have never
regretted my investment in Gemvision software.

Ian Davidson


#8

Well once again, software makes more than just good images…or
should i say the user makes good models using the software. One of
the reasons such tight and well made models are made these days is
because of cad programs. Not necessarily because a wax modeler can
carve lights out on a wax. There are the few that are very good at
it, needless to say, and there will always be the need for these
artists.

Easiest to use I have stated before. Your skill as a bench jeweler
will suffice in your modeling with the application. The software does
nothing, you are the one at the controls to make it happen. If you
can’t visualize what you want, the tool will not work for you…at
the bench or in cad.


#9

POVRay is okay for a starter package, but there are better
applications out there.

The problem with TurboCad is that it isn’t that intuitive.

I use Lightwave for making images, and will soon be using it to make
design renders, for me it’s like modeling with my fingers. It is
relatively cheap compared with its peers, but it will set you back
more than a thousand. The developer base is large, and a plugin can
be found for pretty much anything. I found an stl plugin quite
recently, this provides me with a lot of possibilities for automated
wax manufacture.

Casting is not hand making a ring, but from a commercial point of
view it’s far more efficient than hand making a ring.

For example design the ring, set the size to the customer’s finger,
cast the ring, polish the ring. My partner wants an exact copy, but
has fingers the size of a small tree, no problem, simply scale the
drawing, and print out the new wax. The setup is affordable for a
small studio, a Roland cad/cam machine costs about $5K, a
considerable investment (I’m saving up for one), and they can come
with a probe that copies existing items.

This is a manufacturing process for fine jewelry, it’s not hand made
jewelry.

Regards Charles


#10

Stelios,

I have been using jewelry Cad/Cam software now for about 12 years…
long before it really worked! I as well teach other jewelers
machining, softwares and bench work techniques. I have used Rhino,
ArtCam Jewelsmith, 3Design, almost everything out there. I use ArtCam
Jewelsmith the most. It just seems to make more sense in its approach
to jewelry making that the others did to me.

That being said, I have found that Cad/Cam software in the Jewelry
business… or even in other facets of the CNC world is almost as
personal as selecting underwear. What fits and pleases one person
doesn’t even get close to working for another. As well, I have to say
I haven’t found one software package that will do it all. The
software folks want you to THINK it will.

As far as the one that gets closest to bench work… A pencil and a
piece of paper! You will find that anytime you are going to bench
make a piece of jewelry, doing a sketch first will bring out some
questions & answers that will make the process go smoother at the
bench. I’ve been at the bench 35+ years and I still do a little
drawing sometimes before I start. Not always anything fancy… but
just a scribble.

All the technology is great. I use it daily. But never under estimate
the power of a pencil and a little forethought.

DeArmond Tool


#11
This is a manufacturing process for fine jewelry, it's not hand
made jewelry. 

Boy, in my experience the only people who care about whether the
piece was fabricated from scratch or a wax was carved and cast or a
model was milled or grown and then cast or some combination are the
metalsmiths themselves and the organizations that surround them. The
important people, the customers, just think a piece is beautiful and
so they buy it. All of the processes seem like magic to them.

Mark


#12
Boy, in my experience the only people who care about whether the
piece was fabricated from scratch or a wax was carved and cast or
a model was milled or grown and then cast or some combination are
the metalsmiths themselves and the organizations that surround
them. The important people, the customers, just think a piece is
beautiful and so they buy it. All of the processes seem like magic
to them. 

Interestingly, many customers do value “hand fabricated” over
"manufactured," but they can’t really tell the difference in looking
at pieces. It seems to appeal to the exclusivity, specialness or
snob factor.

Jamie


#13

I would agree with Dan. There are many flavors of CAD software out
there and each appeals to different users. If I had to pick one that
resembles more of a bench jewelers or (sculpturers) techniques, I
would have to say Freeform with the Haptic arm, or perhaps
Claytools. Perhaps even ZBrush.

Please take a look at Harry Hamills work at
http://harryhamilldesigns.com/ to see the power of this software
(Freeform) in skilled hands.

Artcam is also very powerfull in skilled hands as well as Matrix,
Rhino and even Monarch (VX). I chose to go with Rhino3d simply as a
cost issue. It is not open source, and the learning curve is steep,
but the user base is very large and they offer the ability to modify
the UI to suit each users needs. Matrix is actually rhino based with
a huge plethora of plugins suited for jewelers, as well as several
other plug-ins or add-ons for jewelers such as rhino gold, tech
gems, etc. Just my 02c.

Regards,
Ken
http://3dcadjewelry.com


#14

It’s an “art” thing. Some people are concerned with this.

It’s like “tribal” forging. At the end of the day the item looks the
same, but some people will pay more for how something is made.

Regards Charles


#15
in my experience the only people who care about whether the piece
was fabricated from scratch or a wax was carved and cast or a model
was milled or grown and then cast or some combination are the
metalsmiths themselves and the organizations that surround them.
The important people, the customers, just think a piece is
beautiful and so they buy it. All of the processes seem like magic
to them. 

That may be true. But if another question is asked “Can a cast piece
match handmade, in refinement and elegance?” The answer is resounding
no!

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#16
Can a cast piece match handmade, in refinement and elegance?" The
answer is resounding no! 

Oh for heaven’s sake, whyever not? This strikes me as a ludicrous
statement. I speak as an artist who hand-fabricates nearly
everything. But I recently created a ring that took many hours, then
sent it to Dan Grandi to be molded and cast. Unless I put them side
by side where I can see that the castings are slightly smaller and
slightly thinner, I cannot tell them apart!

Noel


#17
That may be true. But if another question is asked "Can a cast
piece match handmade, in refinement and elegance?" The answer is
resounding no!" 

Again, a craftsman point of view. if it helps you sell, then OK.
Customers only care about what THEY care about.

David Geller
www.JewelerProfit.com


#18
That may be true. But if another question is asked "Can a cast
piece match handmade, in refinement and elegance?" The answer is
resounding no! 

That’s debatable, anything you can make by hand can be made by
casting.

In fact your hand made piece can be easily replicated by standard
casting methods, and once you have a mould, the pieces can be made
faster.

For example, let’s say that you can make a very nice ring by hand,
in about a day. You take your ring to a casting house, they make a
vulcanite rubber mould, and produce a flasks worth of waxes (I’ve
seen 50 on a sprue), wax tree, investment plaster, burnout, melt
metal, pour, vacuum casting. Probably about 2 days in a busy casting
house. 50 rings all the same as the original. They just need
polishing.

If you want to go high tech, a 3D scanner, and a rapid prototyping
machine, can not only exactly reproduce the handmade work in a wax
ready for casting, but that model can be manipulated digitally to
resize it or create new works by modifying it.

Regards Charles


#19

The “handmade” look goes back to the English Arts & Crafts movement
of the latter part of the C19th and early C20th.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arts_and_Crafts_Movement#Design_principles


#20
That may be true. But if another question is asked "Can a cast
piece match handmade, in refinement and elegance?" The answer is
resounding no! 

Not only that, but if customers are informed about the differences
in the durability and life expectancy of a handmade piece of jewelry,
which will be made from rolled/forged/drawn stock, versus a casting
with it’s softer and sometimes weaker metal and occasional porosity
problems, then most customers are also swayed by these considerations
as well. In fairness, die struck commercial pieces can compete in
durability with handmade. But since most commercial goods are cast,
this is a minor bit of competition.

Peter