Monthly report on the G.A.P.- CAD/CAM FAQ page ( March 22, 2003)

This is the first in a series of monthly reports on the G.A.P.-
CAD/CAM FAQ page project.

( For those who are new to this, included are excerpts of previous
posts, I’ll try to keep it more succinct in the future).

The CAD/CAM FAQ page is the pilot project of the Ganoksin Archive
Project (G.A.P), an experiment to organize jewelry related knowledge
and on the Orchid web site. The G.A.P is
on it’s way! We’ve had some great responses to the request for
introductions to the group thus far.

In keeping with Orchid’s tradition of sharing and
learning from each other, you’re encouraged to join in this effort.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to give something back. Your willingness
is much appreciated. You know how precious your time is, but you also
know how valuable Orchid is to you. If CAD/CAM is not your thing, get
involved with another topic of interest when the opportunity arises.

When the project was initially announced, several people sent me
personal inquiries with requests to call them. Unless you post a
message on you will not be contacted. So, if you
folks haven’t yet, please get on board! We need your help. In fact,
all who are still considering whether to volunteer are welcome and
needed. As involvement with the project gets under way, discussing it
by phone will be an option, too.

This is also an excellent opportunity for a student of CAD/CAM
jewelry to learn more about the subject. If you’d like to learn more
about CAD/CAM jewelry making, a good place to start is an article by
Charles Lewton-Brain: CAD/CAM Systems for Metals and Jewelry - Ganoksin Jewelry Making Community)

Hanuman proposed that volunteer membership be by subscription, with
renewal every 3-4 months. If you find that you wish to continue, you
simply sign up for another term. If not, your topic will be available
for someone else. This is with the understanding that we have busy
lives and there may be times when you can devote more effort to the
project than other times. However, you may even decide that you want
to stay with the project to it’s completion. All in all, the goal is
to make progress and keep it manageable. Hanuman is working on the
database software to manage the workings of the project. He expects
it will take 3-4 months to develop.

We now need volunteers to read through the Orchid archives and
organize the messages according to topic and subject matter. Each
volunteer will serve as an editor, searching the archives for
material pertaining to a particular topic. There is no time like the
present to claim a topic/ time period to research! It’s pretty much
wide open at this point.

Volunteers choose topics to research in the archives. Eventually,
FAQ summary essays will be written by a volunteer and reviewed by an
advisory board of CAD/CAM educators and professionals. This is to
insure that the FAQ page will be an unbiased and reliable source of

There may be archive messages that relate to more than one
topic.There may be topics that have not been fully explored in the
archives, there maybe some topics that have not been addressed at
all. The project will be an organic, dynamic entity, subject to
continual development and expansion.

We are developing the Tree Structure, a directory or table of
contents of subjects, sub-topics and specific issues about CAD/CAM

Charles Lewton-Brain suggested some great topics that I’ve included
with a few of my own suggestions:

-Introduction to CAD/CAM jewelry what it is.

History - forerunner technologies -photo-etching using 2D art,
developing design with 2D graphic programs, first types of technology
implemented- Stereolithography, CNC engraving and milling

Technology- software programs - File size comparisons, most used
software and file formats, most commonly accepted methods and rapid
prototyping techniques. ( i.e… what works well and easiest ) how
CAD/CAM interfaces with other high-tech production methods.

Machinery- options in CAM programs, output hardware/ machines and
prototyping material- CNC Milling, Metal Molds, Rapid Prototyping,

Craft- transitioning from bench work, 2D graphics to 3D modeling
jewelry styles and types of design that best lend themselves to
CAD/CAM, CNC, RP, RT. Metal Mold making, What can best be done
traditionally, CAD as a complimentary tool to bench work -the
marriage of CAD created components with hand crafted elements, how it
relates to, and impacts other production methods i.e… designing in
CAD for compatibility with casting, finishing, stone setting, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages- of different software, file types,
options in CAD programs, service bureaus, machines you run yourself
etc. Ease of use. Learn-ability Transparency of interface.
exportability to different software and RT, RP and CAM systems.

Business- profitability and return on investment costs- software,
machine and system comparisons, CAD designers, service bureau fees CAD
as communication, photo-realistic jewelry renderings for promotion,
marketing and sales.

Future of CAD/CAM Jewelry- impact on the industry, forecasting
growth and direction of

This is only the beginning, grist for the mill, I’m sure I’ve left a
lot out.

In the search I did on the general subject of CAD/CAM for the year
2002, there were 69 messages. I’ve saved them in text format. I’m
documenting subject title, author and date and categorizing them
according to sub-topic and I’m also cross-referencing messages that
apply to more than one topic.

Once a message has been opened in the archives, the title of it on
the web page will turn blue in your session of Internet Explorer.
This gives a visual record of the fact that you opened the message,
so be sure to download and save it before going on to the next.

It’s important to be thorough during a particular “search mission”
so as to prevent “gems” of from fall through the cracks.
It will be very helpful if not imperative to document a research
session in terms of search terminology, number of posts found/verses
downloaded and dates in the archives browsed. This way, you can go
back to where you left off… If anyone has any questions about this
procedure, please ask.

I’m thinking that we will need a temporary format to contain search
documentation, (not the actual messages), Perhaps someone can
recommend a program to devise such a chart? If so, please step
forward and share your talents!

Since this project is an experiment, we will see which methods work
best and which work, shall we say, not as well?..and please remember,
the project is open to revision and change. As always, feel free to
share any ideas, comments or suggestions.

This report will be posted on Orchid once a month. Replies to this
report should be sent to To join the CAD/CAM FAQ
discussion please send an email to with
‘subscribe’ in the body of the email.

Thank you,
Jesse Kaufman