Which CAD program is right for me?

Hi everyone,

I’ve been looking at Vision Numeric’s 3Design Software and the
Matrix for about a year now. Now, we’re ready to make a decision as
to which program is best suited for our needs. A little background
about us - we’ve been in the jewelry business for about 20 years now
but have finally made the decision to purchasing a CAD software for
sales presentations and with the future introduction of CAM for
production. Our biggest concern is the program’s ease of use as at
times, we will be designing the jewelry piece in front of the
customer. Most of our jewelry lines are fairly simple in design,
European jewelry similar to the likes of Bulgari and Cartier. We do
not need engraving, embossing or have a lot of twisted complicated
designs. Rendering capabilities is a big factor for us, since we will
be using CAD as a sales & presentation tool. I’ve also looked at
JewelCAD for its ease of use but was wondering if 3Design was just as
easy to learn, but support & documentation is lacking. Rendering
capabilities are not as good too.

Now, a little background on myself. I’ve always enjoyed designing
from a very young age and I’ve grown to grasp software programs
easily that have a lot of buttons and toolbars, however, I do not
have an engineering backgound and have trouble typing in command
prompts. For example, I downloaded google’s sketchup last week. And
within days, I was able to produce a retail store mock up w/ relative
ease. I’ve tried other CAD programs and it just left me frustrated.
Sketchup was easy to learn because you could manipulate the shapes by
clicking and dragging the object directly, not through a series of
commands and mathematical computations.

From what I understand, Matrix is built on Rhino, which is an
engineering tool, but has builders that make the design task easier.
I’ve repeatedly asked for a demo too, but did not receive any. It
seems like Gemvision is very reluctant on giving any demos. Other
users have been saying that it is a very hard program to learn.
Though it has a lot of users and superior customer service, I just
don’t have the time to learn a complicated program. I have yet to see
an online demo from 3Design.

I welcome everyone’s opinions on these two programs to gain insight
on which high-end jewelry CAD program we should be using as this will
be a major investment on our part. Currently in Vancouver Canada,
hopefully, someone could show me a demo in person. I’m gonna need to
make my decision in a week so all your help will be much appreciated.
Thanks a lot.


I read your post on the Orchid forum and first at all, I’d like to
thank you for your interest for the 3Design Software. My name is
Cyril, I am the West Coast Manager for the 3Design Software and I
have my office and training center in Los Angeles (CA). You may have
seen our advertisement banner on the Ganoksin website. We provide
beginning and advanced class every month in small group session (6
persons maximum) which allows us to give personal attention to every
customer. We also provide technical support for 3Design.

Since you said that you will be designing in front of customers,
3Design will surely have a great advantage compared to other CAD
solutions since all designs are directly created as "textured solid"
objects (like gold, platinum and also diamond, sapphire… for the
stones) instead of in wire frame. No need to render in 3Design to
show a realistic model since the piece is always in a rendered mode
that not only makes creation easier but also gives confidence to your
customers who will be able to see their jewelry pieces while you
build them. 3Design has also a “built-in” rendering mode to create
real life pictures with backgrounds, reflection from materials,
lights direction and intensity that can be used for presentation.

But even more than that, in my opinion, what makes 3Design the most
advanced 3D Jewelry Software is its unique capability to
automatically “record” every step of every design in a construction
tree also called “history parametric tree”. In other words, for
example, you created a custom design and saved it 2 months ago. The
same customer comes back and asks you to take the same model and
change the finger size, change the center stone, create a matching
band…you won’t need to start over since you can just edit in the
construction tree the steps you’d like to modify and 3Design will
take care of the rest by updating and recalculating the new model
according to the changes you made. Imagine the time you will save.

If you are interested I invite you (and all orchid members) to
contact me at your earliest convenience at 213-624-6321 so that we
can schedule an online 3Design demonstration directly from my
computer to yours and answer any questions you may have. (We also use
the same online system to give real-time technical support on top of
traditional email and telephone hotline).

I look forward to hearing from all of you soon.

Cyril Saelens
3Design Software Solutions
606 S.Hill Street - Suite 810
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: 213-624-6321


I have experience with all those CAD programs, some more than
others…please contact me off list. I am not a salesperson of CAD
and have no connection otherwise…