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
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 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
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
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
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.