[Metals Quiz] What's wrong with this scenario

A couple of years ago I was discussing CAD/CAM with Paul Klecka and
he was saying that with the advances in CAD/CAM he could scan one of
Michael Good’s complex anticlasticaly raised pendants, print it out
in wax and cast it to make a copy.

There are TWO (2) things wrong with this scenario.

Anyone who can name the two wrong things, posting them on this
thread, I will enter your name in a drawing for a free copy of the
new Lark book “Masters:Gold” which I authored.

Nanz Aalund

HI Nanz:

Well, technically, you probably could do what he claimed, so I’m not
sure what you meant by “Wrong”, but here’s my read.

(1) shall we discuss intellectual property theft? Yes, they’re
usually pretty simple anticlastic forms, but still, they’re his.

(2) The structure of the metal will be all wrong. Yes, you’ll have
the shape of the piece, but since it’s done in a completely
different manner, the metal won’t behave properly. Much of what
makes those shapes so strong is the fact that they were formed from
sheet. Cast them directly, and they’ll be dead soft, and have no
strength. Not to mention sprues and cleanup…

I could probably keep digging for ‘wrong’ things, but those are the
first two that leap to mind. Let us know what the answer was at the
end, eh?

Brian Meek.


  1. this would be copyright infringement
  2. hollow jewlery cannot successfully be reproduced by casting

By the way…congratulations on a wonderful book.

I anxiously await my copy.

Cheers. Kim.

Ok. I’ll venture a guess:

#1 the sacanner could not “see” all the parts of the pendant–the
inside curves would not be scanned if there was a wall covering them.

#2 areas of the pendant are too thin to reproduce on the wax printer
and so they cannot be castcannot be cast…

Larry Heyda

A couple of years ago I was discussing CAD/CAM with Paul Klecka
and he was saying that with the advances in CAD/CAM he could scan
one of Michael Good's complex anticlasticaly raised pendants, print
it out in wax and cast it to make a copy. 

Well first off, when you scan you produce a raster image, you would
have to convert it to a vector image in order to be read by any
CAD/CAM program. Second, you don’t print it out on wax, the CAM
program controls a CNC router or lathe which cuts the design out in
wax. And thirdly ( more semantics then anything) you would use the
wax mould to cast the pendant using lost wax process.


Anyone who can name the two wrong things, posting them on this
thread, I will enter your name in a drawing for a free copy of the
new Lark book "Masters:Gold" which I authored. 

maybe more than two.

First, many of Michael Goods pieces have the form almost, or
sometimes even completely closed over. I doubt you could scan many of
them with the resulting model correctly indicating the hollow nature
of the shape and the correct metal thicknesses, simply because the
scanner would have a very hard time reading into all those deep,
almost unreachable recesses. And even those that can be seen, have
interiors that are highly reflective surfaces. I seriously doubt the
lasers would be so accurate in reading that type of restricted access
highly reflective surface without getting at least a little bit
confused, if they could reach it at all.‘’ If they can get scanners
to penetrate the metal, the way a CAT scan can slice up tissue for a
true 3D scan, then perhaps. But I’ve not seen that done yet with
metals… Now, someone good with CAD could further edit even a rough
poor scan to fill in the stuff the scanner can’t get, but that’s not
the stated process, and if doing that, why bother with the scan at
all. Start with the CAD process and just model the form you want

Second, Even the best printed wax, or even the best milled model,
still has some of the stair step texture from the CAM process. While
that can be attractive if intentionally used, it does not mimic the
surface finish of Michael Good’s pieces, and again, because of the
often almost completely closed shapes, finishing off that texture to
a properly reflective surface, as Michael’s work has, would be damn
near impossible, so the duplicate again wouldn’t be that close.

And third, the very process of anticlastic raising produces thin,
springy, tensile metal that’s flexible and alive, able to regain it’s
shape when flexed. Even with heat treating, I don’t think you could
duplicate the feel and physical properties of the metal via casting,
and that behavior seems, at least to me, quite intrinsic to the very
nature of the work. Again, the casting would end up a not very good
copy. And that doesn’t even begin to address the usual differences
between forged and cast metal, ie density, porosity, etc.

And then, finally, there are the wrong things associated with stuff
like copyright infringement…

How’d I do?
Peter Rowe

You’re probably referring to something technical about the CAD/CAM
technology (which I admittedly know nothing about, but in my opinion
the two things wrong with this scenario are (1) scanning/copying
someone else’s design and (2) making a copy of their piece. I don’t
want to start a copyright war here but…well… those two things
are WRONG!


Well, I don’t know if these are the two you are looking for, but
what I see immediately as the “big” wrong is stealing someone else’s
work. The other is that the metal structure would not be the same for
the raised and the cast pieces, would it?

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio


Well, one would be (IMO) it’s basically a breach of copyright and the
second is that if there are any shadowed areas then a scan would miss
them, a third and this might just be something getting lost in
translation, might be that as I understand it CAD/CAM doesn’t scan
stuff in (that would be “3D imaging/image acquisition” application

And that folks is my (rather tired) take on the question.

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.

The first issue is that it’s a blatant violation of copyright law.

Second is that, novice that I am, I don’t see how those complex
anticlastic curves could be cast in one piece. Was he suggesting
casting piecemeal and assembling afterward?

Please educate me…


I’ll bite, even though I’ve only played with scanning and never

  1. Really nasty shapes to scan, especially if you want to preserve
    the sheet aspect rather than make a massive solid.

  2. copyright violations !!!

  3. (for extra credit :slight_smile: casting difficulties with large thin sheet
    pieces, assuming the CAD time was spent to transform solids into a
    thin sheet model.

I’m sure that there are other problems with a job like this, enough
to take the phone off the hook and visit a warm beach for a week or
two :slight_smile:

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

The first thing that pops into my head is that Paul makes no mention
of getting Michael’s consent to rip his exact design. I’m sure he was
just giving an example of the complexities of which the technology is
capable, but I thought it well worth mentioning.

Nanz, congrats again on your new book!

who’s always on the lookout for trick questions :wink:

I’m not really up on 3D scanning, but I’m guessing that the metals
used in jewellery might cause problems in getting a completely
accurate scan - so problem number one? Then, looking at Michael’s
beautifully-made pieces, if they were copied and cast, the pieces
may be too weak due to the lower density of casting versus the
stronger, more dense forged originals. They have a beautifully
delicate look which is achieved well by forging, but perhaps not so
well by casting - so problem number two.

You can probably tell, I’m guessing on this one. The whole rapid
prototyping thing (which I presume you mean by printing out a wax)
is absolutely fascinating! I knew nothing about it at all until I had
to help my son do some research on the various methods recently. I
was amazed. I’ll be interested to see the responses you get to this
one Nanz.



I don’t think Michael Good’s raised designs can be cast. Michael
does limited production of his pieces, and is a very bright
businessman and goldsmith. (He didn’t pay me to say this, either.) If
he could cast his pieces quicker and easier than forming them the way
he does, then he would have already done it.

The problems I see are these:

The gauge of metal he uses is way too thin to replicate by molds and
casting. His pieces are unbelievably thin but quite strong, and you
just can’t achieve that by casting. I can’t conceive of a rubber mold
that could replicate Good’s forms in wax.

Many of Michael’s pieces are hollow, and that just isn’t easy to
cast. No way I can see of inserting a core to create a hollow

Also, casting doesn’t provide the forged strength that raising gives
the thin sheet he works with. A cast copy, IF it could be
accomplished, would need to be much heavier, and couldn’t be a closed
hollow construction as Michael’s pieces are.

Another thing, it would be REALLY unethical to try to copy Michael
Good’s work, you know?

Jay Whaley

hello Nanz,

Answer 1- the obvious, from the literal interpretation of the

A) Copyright infringement !

B) by the smith compressing metal the anticlastic form is produced.
Scanning then " printing it out in wax" would render a 2D model-
from which a mould could be made then cast.The finished piece is not
then anticlastically raised but computer generated ! and at that the
CAD/CAM (computer assisted design and/or manuf.) is missing from the

Answer 2- from the implications of the scenario, the point of
reference being a few years back and what CAD/CAM yields (as
renderings / models are generated on a 3D axis ) and the personal
opinion of this observer:

A) Michael Good’s pendants are not that complex! Even so, a copy
would not be a Michael Good piece (again, design copyright
infringement) !

B) Currently most CAD/CAM systems I know of use powdered metal ( or
alloy) to reproduce the image * - not wax sheets, thus there is no
wax-to-mould step, just a reproduction of the image in metal.So the
notion of printing anything out (printing it out does not quite
describe the technology) is dated. The trend is from the CAD image
direct to a CAM metal form reproducible as many times as is desired.

*Some systems do allow for the user to add wax beads instead of
powdered metals - so a wax model is possible just unnecessary.
i hope I win the book!


Hi Nanz…

Judging from the responses I’m seeing, there are actually many more
than two things wrong in the CAD/CAM guy’s scenario…

And…the discussion was really an argument (friendly I’m
sure)…And you’re tapping Orchid’s massed intelligence/wisdom to
unequivocally trounce him soundly……!

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)

We can only assume this would be a copyright infringement if Michael
didn’t give permission for the experiment. Let’s say for arguments
sake, Michael was curious enough to give the go ahead. My experience
with Michael Good tells me he is about the process, and might be
curious about the out come of an experiment like this.

This said, Perhaps the form could be copied, but could never
reproduced the intricate qualities of anticlastic forming. The
process stresses the metal in a way as to create a spring tension.
This could not be reproduced in the casting process.

All the work produced by the anticlastic process is either somewhat
open or hammered closed. Casting these complex forms would produce a
heavy fixed imitation at best. Even on the pieces with open work, the
subtle intricacies would be missed in the casting. The pieces would
be fixed, lacking the flexibility associated with Michael’s work.

“If the cat has kittens in the oven, it doesn’t make them cookies.”

David Agronick
(Michael are you listening? If so Hi!)

Unfortunately, what I find wrong with this scenario is the inference
that one said jeweler is knocking off the other.

There’s an old saw in advertising that it takes five repetitions for
the average person to start believing the message. Out of 14
responses so far, 11 mention infringement, some using words like
unethical, rip, stealing. You do the math, as they say. As we have
seen, the general public comes here too.

I don’t know the context of the original conversation, could have
been over cocktails, but I suspect it was along the lines of a
private conversation, but I admit I do not know. And it was some
years ago. Its not like ‘I just had this exciting theoretical
exchange at a seminar last night, what do you all think?!’.

Doesn’t strike me as a very polite way to treat Mr. Klecka. I
mean…who’s next?

But that’s just me, always concerned about reputation. And
professionalism. Which I find lacking in this thread. For what? The
promotion of a new book by the OP?

Sorry if I’m blunt but that’s my honest assessment.

How about

  1. 2 dimensional picture doesn’t equal a 3 dimensional object.

  2. Unless he has the actual object, scanning the will pick up
    shadows too (maybe they could be erased?).

  3. Bad mojo will follow those who do this!

BTW, I am thinking of getting Rhino Gold to do a production line of
customizable rings. Designed in this product in 2 minutes flat verses
#^$#%% days in the studio because of my nutty ideas. Anyone with
experience in this product? Comments? Compared to some others the
costs are way lower. Also, what do you all think about my then
jobbing out my services to other jewelers as a side line?

Esta Jo Schifter
Phila PA watching spring burst forth

There are TWO (2) things wrong with this scenario... 
  1. It’s copyright infringement to scan/copy Michael Good’s work.

  2. Cast pieces will not have the springy, flexible quality of raised
    sheet metal. Castings tend to be stiff and lifeless and it would be
    difficult to cast something with as much surface area and thinness as
    an anticlasted piece. Besides, some of Michael Good’s pendants and
    earrings are closed shell forms that would read as solids if just

Donna Shimazu