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Rhino versus JewelCAD


#1

Hello

I am heading more towards Rhino CAD CAM software as opposed to
JewelCAD at the moment.

Can anyone please give me some insight as to which you think might
be best program to get.

I will be learning to operate software from scratch but normally
don’t have any difficulty with complicated programs. Am I right in
assuming Rhino is more universal in possible applications than
JewelCad ?. Is one or the other more easy to learn to use or more
advanced in features and add-ons. Purchase price comparison etc. Any
help much appreciated.

Also thank you very much to those who assisted with my previous
questions

Phil W
New Zealand


#2

Hi Phil,

I’m not an expert, but what I know is Rhino is more widely used,
which means to me, help, if you need it, will be easier to find.


#3

Hi Phil

My opinion and I am sure someone will come back and shoot me down in
flames!

I use Rhino and build all my objects from scratch. Therefore I am a
big fan as you are not restricted to the "X-BrandJewlleryCAD"
programs which have a library of objects that you piece together to
create your item.

I suppose it is akin to one jeweller who makes his items from
findings and settings and calls himself a jeweller and another
jeweller who does the same but creates everything from scratch.

My comment on the above is that the first jeweller will create
pieces that will have a generic look and the latter will create
slightly more individual pieces.

The “X-BrandJewlleryCAD” programs are easier to use because they ask
a series of short questions and then create the object for you. (ie
what ring size?what profile?, what width?) If you are building from
scratch in Rhino you have to do these steps yourself.

My last arguement on the case is look at the objects in the Rhino
gallery. http://gallery.mcneel.com/?language=&g=1 (Not just the
jewellery items) All of which were built from scratch and do not look
generic in their construction.

Kind regards
Chris Parry


#4

I have been using rhino since November 2005 (6 months). I have
learned by following the tutorials on www.cadwax.com a video by
Brian Hull called 3d rhino, and the help from other rhino users
through forums. I don’t have any experience with Jewelcad so I cant
give an opinion on that software. when I talked with the people from
rhino I get the impression that they are trying to create a great
software that can be built on, so other companies can build
libraries and shorts cuts that are specialized for each industry
this is the case of Gemvisions Matrix and Techgems. this plan will
push rhino to advance to a very high quality product, (which I think
they already have.) looking into the next step the milling, i am not
familiar on how jewelcad files export to milling software but i do
know that the rhino software exports to at least three popular
software packages that i know of. Jewelcad probably does the same
thing.

to look into the next step you should check out www.protowizard.com
they have a nice software package with fixtures to work with.

Matthew
www.mhgjewelry.com


#5

I am an AutoCad User and have been for many years now. Are there any
add ons that will let me do jewelry work with AutoCad?

Jerry


#6

We use many of the software available for the industry I have used
both Rhino and Jewelcad For us, Rhino is more versatile and more
easily conforms to US prototyping standards It just makes more sense
for someone who comes from a jewelry bench background there is
definitely more people using it, much more support available when you
need help. Plus, There are many 3d objects available that you can
import into Rhino free or for a small fee on the web some very cool
stuff can be done with assembling the “found objects” Its easy to
import figures from Poser if you need human or animal forms There is
a great Rhino newsgroup at news.rhino.com Plus Rhino is the base for
an awesome jewelry program Gemvision Matrix, worth the money if time
is important to you

Thomas Cavagnaro, GG
Cadsmithing, LLC A Service Bureau
480 688 4136
cadsmith@cox.net
www.cadsmithing.com


#7

Chris,

I use Rhino and build all my objects from scratch. Therefore I am
a big fan as you are not restricted to the "X-BrandJewlleryCAD"
programs which have a library of objects that you piece together
to create your item. 

Libraries are a starting point, and not a locked solution where you
are being forced to create the generic jewelry as you call it. The
fact of the matter, is that the individual has the ability to add to
his or her library of parts at any given point. Even those drawn from
scratch:-) Other software solutions, have the tools to be creative
and generate whatever shape, form or design intent you can come up
with, and that could be with, or without a library of pre-existing
parts. This comment regarding libraries has cropped up several times
in just as many discussions, and I find it mind boggling that
individuals grasp onto certain buzz words such as generic and
libraries and completely stop at that point. It seems at least to me,
that some are completely blinded by that one phrase, and assume that
the whole solution revolves around a small portion of the complete
solution.

I suppose it is akin to one jeweler who makes his items from
findings and settings and calls himself a jeweler and another
jeweler who does the same but creates everything from scratch. 

Therefore, a setting drawn from scratch versus importing the same
from a library is different and commands more respect?

The fact of the matter, both are in digital format, and both will be
produced via RP or milling, therefore, both are equal as far as the
final product is concerned.

Both Matrix and 3Design will accomplish whatever you can do, but
with more flexibility, functionality and more importantly increased
productivity. That’s the beauty of CAD, there are no rules of
engagement, and the whole point is to be able to draw exactly what
the design intent is, in the shortest amount of time.

Well thought out libraries of components, and the ability to change
the dimensional values of those elements to fit into new criteria’s,
is in my opinion a very smart way of doing things.

My comment on the above is that the first jeweller will create
pieces that will have a generic look and the latter will create
slightly more individual pieces. 

Individuality is expressed in the entire creative design process,
rather than just the vehicle that gets you there. The tools are there
to assist and not to detract or limit the channel of creativity.
Understanding not only what the end product will look like, but also
understanding how to utilize the fastest vehicle that gets you from
point A to point B is very important. There is nothing wrong with
starting out with a generic piece as you call it from a library of
parts. The important factor and the key to success, is what can you
do with that model from that point on?. The fact that a generic model
can be imported into a CAD file and then manipulated whether through
dimensionally driven attributes or in the free form dragging of
surfaces to skew, taper, distort or whatever into a form that is now
not so generic, is the real power of added functionality.

The real power is not necessarily in the position you start at, but
the realization that you can modify on a whim and on the fly. A block
of clay from an arts and crafts store, is a generic form that each
and every one of us can buy. Now the skill of an artist can sculpt
and manipulate this into something very pleasing to the eye, in my
case, it would probably look better as a block :slight_smile: The same thing
applies to CAD. Knowing where you can save time, and knowing when
it’s more practical to maybe build a new model, which may allow for
easier manipulation at a later time for other products etc, will make
a CAD Designer more productive.

The "X-BrandJewlleryCAD" programs are easier to use because they
ask a series of short questions and then create the object for you.
(ie what ring size?what profile?, what width?) If you are building
from scratch in Rhino you have to do these steps yourself. 

Chris, many software solutions, will allow many different directions
to automate productivity. Personally, I use macros, Visual Basics
scripts and other methods of utilizing equations via parametrics to
automate any task that has an association in a family of similar
parts. Spend the time doing one, and kick the crap out of the rest
with one click of an icon and answer a few questions that control the
features that need to be changed.

Have you ever created your own design table in Excel for the
creation of derived parts stemming from an original model? Very
Powerful stuff.

Personally, I don’t want to spin my wheels doing repetitive time
consuming tasks, I would much rather gain time, and spend that time
in improving my skills and in any which way I can, speed up
productivity, and that can be from both the CAD and CAM aspects.

Taking it to the CAM side of things, the same applies. Would you
rather have the CAM system provide you with a generic canned
toolpath, or would you rather program the whole job in notepad line
by line?

The key is, let the program give you automatically the repetitive
tasks, and meanwhile, knowing full well, that you have the tools to
enhance it further if you so desire.

My last arguement on the case is look at the objects in the Rhino
gallery. http://gallery.mcneel.com/?language=&g=1 (Not just the
jewellery items) All of which were built from scratch and do not
look generic in their construction. 

To create a library component, someone, somewhere has to draw that
part. In many industries generic parts saved into libraries are an
essential time saver in producing many products, which today
originate in many cases from a CAD solution. What may seem as a
generic part to you, is to others an essential part that belongs to a
generic family of products. Do you think that mechanical engineers
draw every single bolt, spring and washers for example. Do a search
on items used in building fixtures such as bull clamps or spring
pins, and most companies will have a downloadable CAD file of that
same exact element, so that it can be used in the design phase of
your tool. Again, the provided libraries of components are starting
points, and often used to illustrate the fact, that you can build
them yourself and additionally to call up parts used in conjunction
with tutorials etc. Where you take it from there, is entirely up to
you.

I am confident that you have a library of items for your own use
that you created from scratch, however, others who have a different
solution, that just so happened to come with a library, will also
have their own collection of non generic items drawn from scratch.

Best Regards.
Neil George
954-572-5829


#8

Had to put in my two cents worth - I use Jewelcad all day every day
as the designer for a manufacturing company. It is not, as so often
seems to be assumed, a program based on the use of a library of
parts. I create most things from scratch, and do so easily and
quickly with a series of relevant and specific tools that were
designed with jewelry in mind. I have worked with many other
programs, including Rhino and Solidworks, and found it tiresome to
have to learn these huge programs in order to boil it down to what I
actually need. Trust me - I can design any piece of jewelry that I
can imagine with Jewelcad, what I can’t do is design a car or a
bridge and then test it for stress factors and nor would I want to.

Steve Mulligan


#9

using jewelCAD for four years, (and almost every day i discover a new
trick,) i create everything from scratch and never even reference the
database of findings. it is faster and more accurate to make them
than to adjust an existing part. almost anything requested can be
created and not limited to cubic appearing objects, in fact
personally i prefer organic lines, which i have no problem producing
with this program. if anyone would like to participate in a friendly
competition contact me off list!


#10

Cad question-

Which, if ANY of the programs include casting sensibilities like
overly thin walls or pinch points of low?

Which, if any of these programs can start with either a picture or a
sketch or a scan of existing concepts trials?

BTW-At Kraftwerks there will be w wide variety of model making
software and mills/wax printers/ and model growing machines.

Attendees will bring files if they have them to “tinker” into the
best look and production behavior.

Daniel Ballard


#11

Speaking of CAD programs, I was wondering if anyone has been using
Solidworks, or even Adobe Inventor. I know Solidworks was mentioned
in the recent Lapidary Journal article, but want to know from someone
who is really using it. My main reason for considering it, is that it
is a fully “built-from-scratch” concept for a piece. Although it is
much more complex to learn to use, since it is an engineering CAD
program, I still would prefer to design pieces from the ground up,
and not have to use pre-made templates all the time (I have some
experience with CAD programs). Your comments are appreciated.

Jim


#12

Daniel,

Which, if ANY of the programs include casting sensibilities like
overly thin walls or pinch points of low? 

Solidworks via the Cosmo interphace, and used for the analysies of
different production criterias. I use it to determine flows for
plastic injection. Same criterias can be set up for casting also.
Several other solutions can also do this.

Which, if any of these programs can start with either a picture or
a sketch or a scan of existing concepts trials? 

From the sketch and picture point, Solidworks can import a 2D
blueprint with top, side and front views and convert into a solid
model. 3Design can create solid models from a sketch or a picture.
Type3 can bring in a sketch or a picture and manipulate within the
native enviroment to create 3D reliefs. Several other solutions can
also.

From the scan point, I am assuming you mean as point cloud data.
Therefore, Solidworks and Alphacam can handle, and manipulate point
cloud data in real time, and as fast as the points are given. This
can be via CMM, or a manual touch probe such as a Faro arm or laser
scanning system. Many other solutions can handle this also.

Taking it further, most digitized files can be exported from the
digitizing software in a variety of formats, therefore, many
solutions can handle the task as either surfaces or solid models.

Best Regards.
Neil George
954-572-5829


#13

Hi Phil,

You will see some links to the common jewelry CAD programs on my
company’s web site http://www.raisingintl.com/page3.html.

No doubt, Rhino is a very powerful software. It’s widely used in
many professional fields but not only the jewelry industry. In
another word, it’s not jewelry specific program and it’s not
developed for jewelry design only. The good thing is that it has
plug-ins like Gemvision Matrix. If you decide to go for Rhino, you
may want to have the plug-in as well. That will make your design work
easier.

JewelCAD is an old jewelry design software. It’s been in the market
for 16 years. Compare to Rhino/Matrix, its interface looks simple and
plain and it’s easier to learn. One of the interesting features is
Boolean and dis-Boolean. All the Boolean operations (Union,
Intersect, and Subtract) can be reversed (dis-Boolean). That means
when you receive the design file, you can reverse the operations and
modify small pieces and assemble again. Its weakness is that you
can’t add CV (control points) and it’s difficult to do twist type of
designs. Many designers complain lack of support and help for
JewelCAD. In fact, JewelCAD comes with a built-in help. The official
web site has English manual, tutorials, and evaluation version to
download. There are some forums but you’d better can read in Chinese.

Rhino/Matrix is quite popular in North America. I don’t know the
market in New Zealand. In Asia, JewelCAD has more users because it’s
developed by a Hong Kong company and they can provide better support
in that area.

Vicky
vicky@raisingintl.com
www.raisingintl.com


#14

further to steve’s comments yesterday, actually i have used jewelCAD
to design things other than jewelry. i “built” the wrought iron work
for the renovation of my house using jewelCAD in scale, 1 cm= 1 inch.
and then able to give accurate measurements to the welder for a
unique design, instead of relying on his interpretation. it was
superimposed it on a house photo, enabling us to choose. people who
saw it thought it was an actual photo of the finished work!

in jewelry from what i have heard jewelCAD files are more forgiving
that Rhino and have fewer build failures. this would seem to shorten
the profitability curve of the printer.

April
d-tech studio


#15

Hi Daniel,

Which, if ANY of the programs include casting sensibilities like
overly thin walls or pinch points of flow? Which, if any of these
programs can start with either a picture or a sketch or a scan of
existing concepts trials? 

I work with Rhino and ArtCAM so my reply will be limited to my
knowledge of those programs.

I’m aware of FEA (finite element analysis) software, but I don’t
know of any jewelry manufacturers using it. Maybe Neil George can
step in and elucidate on that subject. :slight_smile:

So, I can’t say I know of a program used for jewelry that
automatically analyzes a model to tell you if it’s castable or not,
but you can accurately determine dimension to as many decimal points
as you would ever need, in any real CAD program.

This question about wall thicknesses often arises because of the
tendency to depend too much on visual feedback, since you can’t touch
the material or gauge it as you normally would if you were working
at the bench. Using your eyes to determine if a model is viable can
be “iffy”, because when a ring or setting is magnified to fill a good
portion of your monitor, everything can look big enough, including
a.09 mm gap between pave stones or a.37 mm wall thickness.

Even if I’ve designed a model to what I think are accurate
dimensions, I’ll often double check in Rhino with the distance and
length tools, using Osnaps to accurately lock onto specific
locations.

If the geometry is too complex to zoom in, to snap to Osnaps, you
can select the component, do an “invert hide” (so everything else is
hidden), and then extract an isocurve in the exact location and
measure the distance from one end to the other of the curve.

There are many methods to to accurately determine thickness, I’ll
mention a few more If a part is too curvy or complex to easily lock
onto Osnaps, you can slice it in half with a cutting plane, delete
half and measure the open cross section. (save first) Working
effectively with layers will also help organize a model and make it
easier to measure a particular area. I sometimes use a Rhino Visual
Basic scripted bounding box that reports the size of a part in three
dimensions. This measuring stuff sounds a bit complicated, but it
usually only takes a few minutes to determine if a model is scaled
to the correct dimensions.

The idea of using a picture or sketch as a starting point can be
misunderstood. I’m not referring to you, Daniel, but when I’ve talked
to people not familiar with CAD work, I have the feeling that some
think you just scan a picture in, click a few buttons and the
computer spits out a finished 3D jewelry design. :wink:

A sketch or a photo can be used as a starting point to trace a shape
with curves or vectors which later, must be manipulated, edited and
associated with additionally drawn curves to produce a successful 3D
model.

You might think of 2D artwork as a rough pattern to get you started.
I’ve recently had to make a few pave shadow bands in Rhino, based on
a pencil traced outlines of side profiles and photos of engagement
rings that had been emailed to me. It’s not a fun job, but it’s
possible to import the images, scale them to designated sizes and
use them as a guide. I’d rather have the ring in hand, so I can also
measure it with a calipers and compare it to my work on the screen.

ArtCAM is much more amenable to using 2D artwork because it works
with color as well as vector lines. If you have a good high
resolution image, it can be very quick work to generate a good model
from a picture. Check out the Welch Dragon tutorial on this webpage:

This reminds me of an oft-repeated but erroneous criticism that
ArtCAM Jewelsmith lacks for tutorials and training documentation.
It’s simply not true. I have a feeling this misis based
on cracked versions of the program which are stripped of the 3D
clipart libraries and all the tutorials.

A legitimate copy of the program comes with an extra CD full of
video tutorials, an extensive 3D clipart library, a vector pattern
library, PDF tutorials, a hard copy training manual covering all
aspects of the program and a help file within the program, also
covering every tool and operation.

There is also the online video tutorials and an active, responsive
user forum:

http://forum.artcam.com/

Best regards,
Jesse Kaufman
www.jdkjewelry.com


#16
3Design can create solid models from a sketch or a picture. Type3
can bring in a sketch or a picture and manipulate within the native
enviroment to create 3D reliefs.

That’s true, 3DESIGN (from Vision numeric) developped the idea of
the “draft kit”, the fact you can import a paper sketch or a picture
in order to re-build easily the design in 3D.

Professionals have pleasure to work with it because it aims at both
beginners and expert in CAD technologies. Very clear interface,
ergonomic icons, contextual help online… Nothing compared with the
others


#17

Jim,

Speaking of CAD programs, I was wondering if anyone has been using
Solidworks, or even Adobe Inventor. 

I have been a Solidworks user since it’s inception in 1995. Inventor
is part of the Autodesk suite of products i.e. Autocad and not Adobe.
I’m sure it was a typo, but I will correct it for others.

I know Solidworks was mentioned in the recent Lapidary Journal
article, but want to know from someone who is really using it. My
main reason for considering it, is that it is a fully
"built-from-scratch" concept for a piece. Although it is much more
complex to learn to use, since it is an engineering CAD program, I
still would prefer to design pieces from the ground up, and not
have to use pre-made templates all the time (I have some experience
with CAD programs). Your comments are appreciated.

Give me call, and I will be more than happy to answer any of your
questions

Best Regards.
Neil George
954-572-5829


#18
Which, if ANY of the programs include casting sensibilities like
overly thin walls or pinch points of low? 

-as a footnote to my post on determining the wall thickness of a CAD
model, this software is intented for that purpose.

http://tinyurl.com/lnd8y

It seems a bit more involved than would be practical for the average
jeweler using CAD to do custom design.

Jesse


#19

I used to use solidworks and inventor to build jewelry but I recently
switched over to 3design: www.3designjewel.com You would save a lot
of time with a jewelry design software compare to an engineer
software.

Good luck


#20

April do you or does anyone else have further about the
non-forgiving nature of Rhino files in reference to “printing”. (I
assume you mean a rapid prototyper like Solidscape?) Could someone
describe what happens when a “failed” Rhino file goes to the printer?
How does one recognize a construct that is going to fail? Does the
software that comes with the printer sqwak at you and tell you it
doesn’t like it or does it blindly go forth and waste time and
material?

Sorry but I’m thinking about getting one and I’m having great fun
with Rhino 4.0 (beta).

Justine