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Thoughts on CAD-CAM Rapid Prototyping

Hi David, I understand your frustration regarding jewelry that may
have be designed on computer… I happened to notice that two of the
featured designers on your employer’s web site happen to be our
clients (M2-systems). However, we did not model the platinum necklace
that you referred to…perhaps they came to us after realizing they
did not have the technical expertise to model jewelry with proper
structural integrity, stone settablity, etc. The beauty of previewing
a design on the screen in 3D is that you can actually rotate a hinge
part around a pivot pin to ascertain whether it will interfere with
stones before it’s ever made in metal. Wall thicknesses can be
developed to exact specifications and dimensions. Once a ring design
is created, it can be scaled to a range of sizes with a few clicks of
the mouse.

In contrast, I’ve had to repair more than my share of those hand
modeled but shoddily made “home shopping network specials” that were
so flimsy that they were unrepairable by ordinary methods. It often
entailed making major sections of the piece over from scratch. So,
“handmade” isn’t an assurance of quality, either.

I personally don’t know if 3D designers are competing with
independent custom-design jewelers such as yourself.

From what I’ve seen, it is more often the larger manufacturers and
cutting edge designers that are embracing this technology… and they
soon learn what sells and what gets kicked back to them. So it is this
bottom line which will dictate technical and ascthetic design quality
and the evolution of 3D design work. If a design isn’t profitable, it
won’t be repeated.

It’s true that 3D jewelry design is in it’s formative stage (pardon
the pun), but it can only get better as more talented and creative
people avail themselves to it…

M2 Systems
200 Myrtle St
New Britain CT 06053

Several people have posted that one needs to be an experienced person
to use computer design effectively. I agree with this, but there is
software on the market to aid in the experience end. Two programs
have been designed to provide this The are pro/e and
pro/mechanical from PTC. These programs will help you test for
problems like will the setting last under ordinary usage with this
design. How can I optimize my venting, spurring, temperature,
pressure etc to reach the best results in casting. Are there any
simple design changes that will aid the piece in how it casts, how it
wears and how to eliminate problems in finishing, production and
expense. The advantages of this software is its power and information
the it will provide the manufacturer and designer. The major
disadvantages of the software is its price and the difficulty in
learning the software. But with all other software, as time goes on,
the software tends to improve on both. Mike