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Should I get Matrix 3d CAD used copy?

I have a chance to purchase a few year old version of Matrix 3d from
Gemvision. I started to learn it a couple of years ago, and want to
know if it is still the leader in CAD design software, and how it
interfaces with mills. I was thinking that I would have to purchase
the updates, but would have the core taken care of. I would
appreciate any and all comments that would help me decide to pick
this up, or start from scratch.

Britten Wolf,
Reno, NV

First, I’d contact Gemvision to make sure they’re OK with the used
version and see what it’ll cost you to upgrade. They might have an
additional fee to register the software in your name, to provide
support etc. I don’t know how they handle it, so it’s worth a call.

As far as whether, it’s the “leader” in CAD, that’s up to you to
decide. Buying CAD software is like buying a car, very individual to
your needs. What’s good for you is not necessarily good for someone

Besides Matrix, I’d look at Rhino, which is what Matrix is built on.
3Design, which has features Matrix doesn’t, and MOI, which is free.

As far as how Matrix interfaces with mills, Matrix, as well as the
others I mentioned, doesn’t interface directly with your mill. They
will allow you to export .stl files, but you will then have to buy
CAM software to take those and create toolpaths for the mill.

I would recommend that whatever path you choose for CAD, farm your
milling and RP jobs out till you get proficient with the software.
Then look into a mill and CAM software. It’s a lot to learn right
off the bat without having to learn how to be a machinist too.

Good luck,

I would look at Artcam before making your decision. It is a great
program and in my opinion is the leader in the jewelry CAD programs.
I have been using it for about 5 years and the latest version can do
almost anything. All of the jewelry CAD programs have LARGE learning
curves so be very careful on your selection because no matter what
any sales person tells you, you have a lot to learn before you start
spitting out the designs you want to.

I was able to make rings and things after a 2 day class and then it
is when you start trying to do the things that CAD was meant for,
different and unusual, that takes time. I cut all of my own models
right from the program and that part makes it all worth it.

I actually spent about 2 years researching the programs before I
decided on the Artcam program. I have over 30 years in the computer
business before this and I had a little edge because I was familiar
with CAD work. While going through your search, eliminate the cost
factor and decide which CAD program you would buy if money was no
issue. Then look at what you have decided and you might find that the
most costly wasn’t the right one for you, or that it was. Have the
people trying to sell you the system to do a design that YOU have
made and not just their designs. This will also tell you a lot about
the program and the people trying to sell it to you.

Have A Great Day!
Ginny & Bill Meyer
Ginny’s Gems

This is excellent advice from Mr. Hamill. You don’t want to get
yourself locked in to Gemvision if your not going to purchase their
milling machine. It is important if you wish to be able to jump to
the next versions of milling or rapid prototyping machines that you
choose the most flexable 3D design software. The prices of rapid
prototyping machines are dropping every year and some are near to
the price of the 4 axis Gemvision milling machine. There are also
affordable 5 axis milling machines available for the more
knowledgeable, serious hobbiest.

Ed Katz, G.G. in hot, humid Houston.

Besides Matrix, I'd look at Rhino, which is what Matrix is built
on. 3Design, which has features Matrix doesn't, and MOI, which is

It would be great if you could please post the link from where
3Design can be obtained for free.


Worth some consideration:

Generation of a digital jewelry design in 3D can involve: *
Jewelry-specific 3D CAD that has tools and functions to speed this
industry-specific artistic task; example ArtCAM.

  • General-purpose 3D CAD; example Rhinoceros.

  • Jewelry purpose-built plug-ins to the above; example Techgems.

  • 3D scanners to lift the surface off existing objects (possibly out
    of scale and out of context) to implant into CAD as an element of
    your design; example Roland PIX-30.

  • Libraries of useful elements like settings, shanks etc that can be
    built into an otherwise handcrafted design; example Stone Settings
    Library JSL at

With one, some or all of the above you have myriad ways to make a
unique design, or just edit a “standard” design, or many spaces in
between. Isn’t it wonderful to have so much choice? Isn’t it daunting
to have so much choice? Isn’t free will and the free market in
software a curse? I mean a blessing? Or you could just carve it…

Mark Bingham

Here’s the link for MOI It’s free.

3Design Not free, but
nice software. Better and easier than Matirx IMHO.

This is free and fun to play with but not really of great use to
jewelers. : )


Artcam is a very good product however, before purchasing Artcam make
sure you understand the contract and ask your salesperson exactly
what will happen if you lose the dongle or you decide you want to
sell the program, that way there will be no surprises.

As a relatively new user of Matrix, I’ve just got to say, go for it.
I did my research and, hesitated for 2 years before buying it, and I
am extremely happy I finally did.

I took no classes whatsoever, but read their manual a bit, looked at
the tutorials, and was creating rings on my first day. Now, a few
months later, and with not too much time logged on, I’m making
almost anything I can imagine.

I looked hard at other programs, especially as I’m a Mac user. The
other programs I looked at all seemed like a compromise. By the way,
I am using Matrix on a Mac (which can also run Windows.)

For examples see .

The wedding set render near the bottom of the page was created to
meet a customer request within my first 30 hours of using the

Usual, no affiliation, etc.

Michael Babinski
Foxfire Jewelers

Artcam is no different than any other program on the market. The only
problem is that no one seems to understand that the programs you buy
are licensed to the person that buys them and really can’t be sold by
that person to another legally. It really gets very technical if you
pay attention to the license agreements that most just check off the
agree button! The dongle is a security issue that is similar to what
other programs do with their dongles. The reference is that they will
replace or repair the dongle as long as you have the pieces. If you
lose the dongle they are going to charge you for the program itself.
The reason is the only security against buying the software and not
duplicating it like most people just think is their right, is the
dongle. If you lose it, then you must buy the program again. That is
why you insure the dongle as you would any other piece of capital
equipment. In answer to most people’s thoughts to my answer, NO I DO
NOT work for Artcam. I have spent over 35 years in the computer
business watching people wait until someone has something good and
then copying it and selling it for less. I sure see a lot of
complaints about copying designs in the jewelry business but there is
little that can be done.

Have A Great Day!
Ginny & Bill Meyer
Ginny’s Gems

and ask your salesperson exactly what will happen if you lose the

Just to pass on somebody’s advise - I think it was highend3d
( - very cool place). Buy a USB extension cable for
it, so if it ever gets knocked and the USB connector gets tweaked
it’s the extension, not the dongle. They were talking about being
charged $2,000 for a new one…

The only problem is that no one seems to understand that the
programs you buy are licensed to the person that buys them and
really can't be sold by that person to another legally. 

The above statement is incorrect as far as Matrix is concerned.
Anything you own, you can legally sell, as long as you remove it from
your computer. Unless things have changed recently, Gemvision does
not charge for transferring ownership, but does request that they be
notified, for support purposes and to give notice of on-going
education and upgrades. I can’t speak for ArtCam.


Actually you may be both right and wrong. Yes some software is tied
to a specific user or a specific machine if you read the license
document. Most is not

Then to be even more confusing despite what the license agreement
says, weather it is a legal clause varies as to the state, province
and country.

As an example here in Quebec, Canada, Such clauses are
non-enforceable because they are considered under Quebec law as a
"Coercive contract clause". While one province over in New Brunswick
they may be enforceable.

For legal advice go see a lawyer who is aware of the local State and
country laws and ask them to give you a legal opinion.

I will also add I wish people would not assume that the law in their
little (make that very little) corner of the world is the law