Over the past few years, jewellery designers and manufacturers have turned away from the traditional way of things and have moved toward the technological side.
Computer-aided design software and computer-aided design hardware have been becoming more and more popular as time has gone on. Don’t recognise those long-winded names? We bet you’ve heard of the 3D printers making their mark in the manufacturing business.
CAD software like Rhino 3D is used in a wide range of industries, from interior and fashion design right through to architecture and vehicle structures. But why is it so popular? And why has the ever-popular jewellery industry jumped on the bandwagon?
The answer is that CAD has a versatility and number of benefits that cannot be seen in the traditional methods of design. Both traditional and contemporary methods are used by jewellery designers today, yet it’s fair to say that in many cases, CAD saves a lot of time…
A brief history of jewellery making
Before CAD and CAM existed, the traditional and most-used process to design and create jewellery required not only great skill, but a lot of patience.
Starting with a piece of paper and a pencil, the designer would sketch, rub out and re-sketch a design until it was completely perfect and accurate so it could be used to hand make the jewellery out of metal, or carve it out of wax to use in the metal casting process.
Once carved out of wax, it would go into the investment process before being placed in an oven. When the wax burned away, the preferred metal was poured into the cavity left by the wax – and voila!
If the designer or manufacturer wants to create duplicates of the original model, they would use rubber moulds. However, if they want a slight variation on the original, an entirely new model would have to be created.
The benefits of CAD in jewellery design
As we said, sounds quite time-consuming, right? Which is where both CAD software and CAM hardware steps in with its advantages when it comes to jewellery making, including:
- The steps of the process can be completed significantly quicker, depending on the design
- In many cases, CAD aids the accuracy of design and minimises time taken for ‘trial and error’
- Replications can be made more easily benefiting mass production
- Significantly cuts the cost on amount of materials used in previous methods
- Relatively easy to create variations, giving you a chance to express your creativity
- In many cases motifs can be ‘copied and pasted’ into other projects
- Aids in the design of smaller and more intricate features with zoom feature
- Can create photo-realistic images to give an idea of how the finished item will look
With CAD, changes can be made at the click of the mouse, and your project – with more detail than ever before – can be left to the incredibly intelligent CAM systems like 3D printers to become a reality.
Large replicated amounts, designs with variations and complex designs can be tackled by experienced designers using this software and hardware. Their precise and time-saving qualities just prove how technology has revolutionised the jewellery industry, among many other industries too.
Of course, design and engineering skills are necessary for both traditional methods and the contemporary method of CAD, which is why we offer specialist training in how to use CAD software, Rhino 3D to design jewellery.
Take a look at our Level 1 and Level 2 training courses, or to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.