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Is there a market for independent CAD designers?

Hi there everyone. Question for the forums. I recently had the good fortune to take a 3Design class at Rio and it got me thinking about picking up the software. At this point in my life, the price point is a huge investment that would need to show me returns.
This would be JUST the CAD file, not a 3d printed model, not a cast product. If this started taking off, I’d love to move into a more full service modeling operation.
I have a decent amount of experience with most all aspects of bench jewelry, and experience with 3D modeling, so I’m not super concerned about the amount of time to spin up to a professional level.

Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing? Do you hire designers for your own businesses? Any and all information or suggestions are appreciated!

I would hire you. I have access to a FormLabs 3D printer. My business has grown when I can show clients a 3D mockup of their ideas.

Karen Christians
Western Avenue Studio, #506
122 Western Avenue
Lowell, MA 01851

If you’re good and you can develop relationships with people doing custom work for retail
jewelers, you can stay very busy. Typically a cad modeler gets about $150-$200 for a model, more if its unusually tricky, plus $50 for a resin. Most in the industry are using Gemvision’s Matrix software. They have excellent support.

My favourite CAD fellow does about 3,000 waxes a year at about $135.00 per
wax…you do the math!

Gerry Lewy
Toronto, Ontario.

Mark beat me to it, he’s exactly right. Put together a portfolio of a few of your renderings and if you can, a few live pieces created from your designs, both finished and tumbled rough castings and start knocking on doors. If you have a quality, usable product and present yourself as a true professional, you might be surprised how well you’re received.


If you have strong bench skills folks in the trade will flock to you for CAD work.

My CAD fellow & I communicate so easily. We have a certain jewellery understanding, I don’t tell him what to do and I leave his cad work to him. He is a very aware of what I want!..:wink:
It’s a good way of doing business!!

Gerry! from my mobile-phone!

Thanks everyone! Definitely motivation to keep it up and get a portfolio together. Great idea to have some of them cast to really round it out.