I would not necessarily agree that from the standpoint of a designer
that wants to design digitally, that it would require that individual
to be a proficient jeweller. The designer, as a stand alone entity
does not require this in-depth knowledge of production as many see it,
because this is not their job. However if the designer is both the
designer and the model maker, then in this instance I would agree that
the bench and manufacturing knowledge is imperative. My feeling is
that, this discussion, is not taking into consideration the many
facets and types of businesses before coming to a conclusion of what
has to written in stone as far as CAD/CAM is concerned.
From a Service Bureau view point, many individuals merely wish to
design a product and tag it as their own, but this does not mean that
they wish, or have the ability to produce the item themselves. This is
evident, in that Daniel, M2, and myself have built successful
businesses servicing such individuals.
who are designers, who know what they want, but not necessarily know
how to execute the project. This can be a mind bender in trying to
establish what it is the customer is looking for, especially, when the
task is driven by a 2D sketch. However, if we look at the fact that a
3D model determines the design intent of what the designer has in mind
more accurately, then this has already equated into a model that has
90% of the intact. Whether the model is correct or not, is
not important at this first viewing of the file. What is important, is
that the Rapid Prototyper/Service Bureau (SB) has the obligation as
model makers to make this happen with the correct allowances in place.
Therefore, the designers should let loose their creativeness in a
digital format, and pass along the necessary to someone
that can implement the design and avoid all of the manufacturing
pitfalls that need to be addressed. It is our duty as professionals
and Service Bureaus to determine how the model will be manufactured,
and therefore the changes can be implemented by the designer with
direction from the SB, or conversely changes can be done in house by
the SB. I prefer for the designer to implement these changes under
guidance, because as time goes on, they will learn, and provide better
and better models that actually come pretty close to what the model
should be like at the end of the day.
I would like to point out, that just because a business calls itself
a Service Bureau, this does not mean by any stretch of the mark that
they will guide you down the right path. Therefore, do your homework
and try to the best of your ability, to determine whether they can
deliver the product requested with the full understanding of what it
is you need. A jeweller buying a system, does not mean that they are
now model makers or a Service Bureau. A model maker needs a thorough
knowledge of processes and be able to implement strategically driven
solutions for a problem free production environment. Again, the
designer only needs to input the direction that the finished model
should take, and not how it will get there.
Another important note, is to go with a service bureau that uses the
same software as you do and is proficient in that software, so that
you are all on the same page. I specialize in Solidworks files,
therefore when it comes to making changes I have control of what is
going on, and can intelligently work on those models in their native
environment. Other Bureaus will be proficient in Rhino and /or
Jewelcad and so forth, and therefore those are the Service Bureau
entities that one should consider if you are using Rhino or jewelcad
etc. This does not mean that we cannot process other software
generated files, it just makes more sense to work with someone that
is on the same page as you are from a software standpoint.
Not all problems and solutions are created equal.
If I can assist anyone in their efforts, whether they need software
help or even if you are a CNC user and need help on machining
strategies and why you keep breaking your cutters give me a call,
and I will be glad to help.