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Rhino & Rhinogold vs. Matrix


#1

Hello all,

I am looking at purchasing my first CAD program. My custom design
workload presently is light but it is something I would like to
build. There is a huge price difference between Rhino & Rhinogold
vs. Matrix. For those who are familiar with both, I would appreciate
any advice - is it worth saving $4000 and buying the rhino package or
is Matrix such a better package that I should spend the $6000? Other
than Matrix having a great findings library, is there such a huge
functionality difference? Since Matrix is actually a plug-in for
rhino, would rhino, rhinogold and brazil (for rendering) do the same
thing (and cost about $4000 less)

Thank you in advance,
Dave


#2

Dave,

I would highly recommend that you save your money. Unless you really
need a program to draw stones there is really no reason to spend the
money since you can do everything in Rhino. Also, since Matrix is
constantly updating their programs every 6 months and your cost only
allows you 2 upgrades, that means if you want to keep current you
have to buy a whole new program in 1-2 years. I also found the people
at Rhino considerably more friendly and helpful than the Matrix
customer service. Rhino also offers free manuals and cheap (and
sometimes free) classes to learn the program. When I studied Matrix
it was extremely expensive and basically the classes spent 9/10th of
the time working on Rhino and 1/10th on Matrix.

And since you need to learn Rhino anyway to learn Matrix, I think it
makes a lot more sense to learn that first and then see if you think
you need the plug in.


#3

WOW! where to start? If you want to design jewelry, i cant imagine
why you would want to learn rhino before matrix! i dont know anything
about Rhino, but i know how to make great pieces of jewelry on Matrix
6. You have the option to update matrix but you dont have to,they
just want to make it easier for you, are you never going to update
your computer? How well can you render on Rhino? you can tell my
Matrix 6 renderings from the real thing.if time is money than spend
it on Matrix 6 and save yourself hundreds of hours doing what Matrix
6 will do for you. so unless you want to make car parts i would go
with Matrix.


#4

You can create faceted gems in GemCad and output them as.dxf files
into any CAD program, including Rhino (Matrix is just a plug-in for
Rhino, albeit an elaborate one). GemCad costs about $100 as I recall.

Wayne mery


#5

Hi Don,

I disagree, slightly.

Matrix (Gemvision Corp) is not a stand-alone program. It is a
plug-in for Rhino (McNeel and Associates). It allows one to perform
certain operations much faster and in a more user-friendly way than
Rhino does alone, specifically for designing jewelry.

When you use Matrix, you ARE running Rhino, so your claim of not
knowing anything about Rhino is, well, based on a lack of knowledge
about the product more than anything else. No fault, lots of folks
don’t understand this. Certainly, in the classes, and in the
marketing for the product, Rhino is mentioned as little as possible,
lest the potential customer buy Rhino instead. In fact, when you
bought Matrix, you also purchased a full seat of Rhino, as that is a
contractual agreement between between Gemvision and the makers of
Rhino (McNeel). Many say that Matrix is “Rhino on steroids”, I think
one of the salespeople coined that phrase.

Also, you cannot, as you claim, render ANYTHING in Matrix. When you
perform a render in Matrix, you are using (transparently) a program
called Flamingo, which is an option when you purchase Rhino, and
which is included in your Matrix purchase. And when you render
within Matrix, you are in fact using a subset of ther Rhino tools to
engage Flamingo. In fact, many of the more experienced users of
Matrix now forego Flamingo and use VueRay instead for their
renderings. So the rendering program is just another stand-alone
program.

One should note that Rhino and Flamingo together cost $995, unless
you are a student, in whch case it costs $195. I don’t know what
Matrix costs these days, but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere North of
$6,000. Big difference, no?

I can assure you that there are many designers happily and
efficiently designing with Rhino and Flamingo or their renderer of
choice and there are many designers happily using Matrix as well.

I was a beta tester for Rhino before anyone at Gemvision knew it
existed, and was a beta tester for Matrix as well. I was also
employed at Gemvision for two years as their sales manager, and,
frankly, I’m surprised that you could purchase the product without
having a clearer understanding of its foundation on Rhino. All who
know me personally know that my relationship with Gemvision did NOT
end well, but I still believe that if you can afford the financial
and time investment, Matrix is a very fine tool to have in your
toolbox.

Were I beginning a career in jewelry design today, I would CONSIDER
both Artcam and Matrix, as each has its weak and strong points. But I
would most certainly own a seat of RhinoGold. You cannot beat it for
the price and for the community of users worldwide.

Also, those who understand and can use Rhino just breeze through the
Matrix classes. In Matrix, the left side of the screen is Matrix,
the right side (the four windows) IS Rhino.

Wayne Emery
The Gemcutter


#6
You can create faceted gems in GemCad and output them as.dxf files
into any CAD program, including Rhino (Matrix is just a plug-in
for Rhino, albeit an elaborate one). GemCad costs about $100 as I
recall. 

http://www.3dlapidary.com/HTML/Collections.htm

Seem to all be meshes and some of the cuts are strange, but the
price is right. (free)

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#7

Dave,

Let’s not forget that they are several other CAD programs available
other than Rhino & Matrix.

3Design CAD, the one we are representing and selling in Los Angeles,
is not based on any existing generic software and it is not a plug-in
from an engineering software. But it was developed specifically for
the jewelry industry 8 years ago with an open platform language that
makes it compatible with any operating system like Windows, MAC (or
even Linux). We have quite a few customers who were using Rhino in
the past and who decided to switch to 3Design CAD for its ease of
use, its visual interface (models are constantly rendered with gold,
platinum, stones without wireframe) and flexibility (parametric
concept that lets the user change models freely at any step during
the creation).

Depending what you want to do with CAD, how heavily you want to use
it, how important you count on it to develop your business, your
choice of a CAD system should take a lot of aspects in consideration.
Price being one of these parameters of course but not the only one.

For instance, a retail store that wants to develop an important
activity of custom design not only has to become proficient with CAD
to create the designs but has to create a different atmosphere or
"experience" around this concept to be very successful. For a
customer, seeing a jewelry piece slowly materialize on the computer
screen, being able to better communicate with the designer and
knowing in advance the exact look, dimensions, weight and price of an
unique piece that doesn’t even exist is an unforgettable experience.

Long gone are the days when CAD-CAM software packages were only
design and manufacturing tools. Today with 3Design CAD, you also get
a presentation, marketing and sales tool.

In conclusion, look at all available options before taking your
decision since more than a financial investment, any CAD software you
will get will require an even greater investment of the most
important resource: TIME.

3Design Software Solutions
Cyril Saelens


#8

Just wondering if anyone has compared 3D CAD Software to Matrix or
Rhino?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


#9

There are a handful of good cad softwares for jewelry. Info on all
by users can be found on 3dcadjewelry.com forum.

Scott


#10

Cyril- I embrace new technologies. Just love 'em. Really. I’ve been
following this thread with great interest. However when you
stated…

For instance, a retail store that wants to develop an important
activity of custom design not only has to become proficient with
CAD to create the designs but has to create a different atmosphere
or "experience" around this concept to be very successful. For a
customer, seeing a jewelry piece slowly materialize on the
computer screen, being able to better communicate with the designer
and knowing in advance the exact look, dimensions, weight and price
of an unique piece that doesn't even exist is an unforgettable
experience. 

All I could think of was, wouldn’t a good sketchbook and pencil
accomplish the same thing for a whole lot less money?

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#11

Hi Wayne, sorry about your leaving Gemvision on bad terms! I am more
than happy with my purchase of Matrix6 along with my new Mill. i
dont think you can beat the two together for the best combo on the
market! if you can afford to put that kind of money on the table. I
understand Rhino is the base for Matrix but i was never trained on
Rhino.For me it was the best package icould find that did what i
wanted it to do without jumping through hoops! Thank you for your
input, i always like to hear what other people have to say about
what they know.


#12

I agree about the Pencil and paper, although someone like myself who
can make any piece of jewellery that is visioned in my head, but is
not the best at drawing in 3D on paper I think needs to learn a Cad
Design software, I dont have any software at this time so I can
understand its need and how effective it would be with my customers,
I love doing abstract designs and its so offbeat that to try to draw
them drives me insane…so yeah Cad design software is something
I will look at in the near furture.

Anthony Galea Designer Jeweller


#13

Hi Jo,

All I could think of was, wouldn't a good sketchbook and pencil
accomplish the same thing for a whole lot less money? 

You’ve hit on something that does bother me. I’m a good sketcher,
not the best by any means, but more than just proficient. I can sit
in front of a client and sketch a design and get little more than a
yawn, but build it on a computer and they sit there spellbound. I
can’t get anyone to pay me to sketch a design, it’s just as hard to
get someone to pay for a hand rendering, let alone get them to
appreciate it as art. Maybe it’s the fact that paper and pencils are
cheap, readily available to anyone and so familiar while a computer
and the associated software is costly and inscrutible.

For whatever reason, I have no problem getting a client to pay for a
rendering from a CAD (plus they are photorealistic). Whatever, I make
money at it and being able to use CAD marks me as an expert in my
feild where a pencil, ink, pastels, paper and a head full of ideas
ready to be translated into 3 dimensions in precious metals doesn’t.

Go figure.
Larry


#14

Hi Jo,

All I could think of was, wouldn't a good sketchbook and pencil
accomplish the same thing for a whole lot less money? 

The comparison between a hand drawn sketch and a CAD model on a
computer screen, is a hard one to make, for me.

I’m amazed by the artistry of well done drawings of jewelry, but I
know for myself, never having had much formal art training, most of
my drawings look like chicken scratch!

Here is a Vray animated rendering by Travis Serio.

There is something viscerally stimulating about seeing a model that
can be rotated on a screen, zoomed in on, and viewed from any angle.
Add to that lighting, metallic textures and the sparkle of gemstones
and it’s an experience that you just can’t compare it to a static
drawing. The piece becomes so real before your very eyes, you want to
reach out and touch it.

Not to detract from the skills of a good sketch artist for one
minute, but movie theaters do a lot more business that art galleries
in today’s world. That’s just the way it is.

On the fly “screen captures” illustrating a model in various stages
of the design process, assure the customer that they will be getting
what they expect in the final result. It’s a great communication
tool.

For those just starting to explore CAD, I’'d be remiss if I did not
mention MoI3d.

I think of it as the “little engine that could” It’s similar to
Rhino, but has a much simpler interface having been created with
artists in mind.

Check it out if you’re curious. http://tinyurl.com/dbes23

Regards,

Jesse
JDK Jewelry Design
CAD/CAM Technology
http://www.jdkjewelry.com
http://jdkjewelry3d.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#15

Joe,

Like you, I am interested to finally read a thread about CAD
technology and I am happy to answer your question.

All I could think of was, wouldn't a good sketchbook and pencil
accomplish the same thing for a whole lot less money? 

The big difference is that pencil and sketchbook stops in 2D
creation (flat drawing) while CAD software will present a virtual
model in 3D. As a professional jewelry designer (I checked your
website), I am sure that you have the capabilities to imagine the
exact look of a finished jewelry piece simply by looking at a 2D
sketch or pictures taken from different sides for instance (top view,
side view or front view). But how many of your customers have the
same
capability?

CAD software greatly improves the communication between jewelry
designers and customers by offering the possibility to see in 3D, to
turn in every direction, to zoom in small details, to change metal
and stone, to estimate weight and price.of a model that doesn’t EVEN
exist. This is what I call Virtual Jewelry.

  • In 3Design CAD software for instance, you can even import virtual
    hand, ears, neck, change skin colors and position the model created
    in order to give the customer an exact idea of piece proportions.

  • Also, instead of trying to explain the difference of size between
    a BD and a BC carat diamonds. Isn’t it better to actually show both
    diamonds on the model and ask him what he prefers. CAD gives this
    capacity to try different options LIVE with your customer sitting
    next
    to you who then become directly involved in the design creation.

  • What about pave design? How can you give a price estimate for a
    model without precisely knowing in advance the number of stones
    needed?

  • If your customer needs to think about the model or show it to
    family or friends, with CAD, just print a realistic rendering or
    create a short animated movie that can be emailed and rotated in 3D.

  • Also how frustrating it is to make a wax model and realize when
    showing it to the customer that he doesn’t really like it because he
    didn’t imagine the finished piece from the sketch. How many wax
    models have to be made to finally give him complete satisfaction?
    With CAD software, you know exactly what you will get.

By improving communication and reducing misunderstandings, not only
the jewelry designer saves time and frustration but also greatly
increases his customer’s satisfaction. Because at the end what the
customer will remember once the piece is finished and what he will
want to share with other people is the GREAT EXPERIENCE he had and
the story behind his jewelry piece.

Finally. Are sketchbook and pencil less expensive than CAD software?
Well, it depends. It is easy to price business we get. But how can
you put a price on business you lost (since sometimes you will never
know that you lost it anyway)?

When you consider that sometimes the difference between getting a job
for a custom part or losing it against your competition is very fine.
I truly think that 3Design CAD definitely gives your customer a
different experience and the WOW factor more than enough to make the
difference. At the end more than the purchasing price, what matters
is the return on your investment (R.O.E). Will your R.O.E take 2
months, 6 months or just 1 MODEL?

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about CAD.

Cyril
www.3design.us
www.3designsoftware.com


#16
For whatever reason, I have no problem getting a client to pay for
a rendering from a CAD (plus they are photorealistic). 

I think that that’s the key right there. Lots of people who are not
in creative fields have trouble visualizing how something will turn
out.

Have you ever seen the show on HGTV “Hidden Potential”? They show a
couple three house, each of which has a significant problem, and the
the architect guy uses his macintosh computer to create some gee
whiz 3D renderings and takes them through the “new space.”

The couples instantly get it, in a way that they wouldn’t if he just
described it.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com