Have you heard about CAD? If you’re in the jewelry business or have sketched out some jewelry designs, you’ll come across this term quite often.
CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design, and it’s used to create precise 3D models or drawings of physical objects.
In the case of jewelry design, CAD software allows you to create intricate and detailed models of rings, necklaces, earrings, and more.
1. Why Perfect CAD Designs Matter
In the jewelry business, it’s crucial to have your CAD designs perfected before moving on to the production stage.
This is because any imperfection in the CAD can result in a sample that doesn’t meet your expectations, leading to costly and time-consuming revisions.
2. Different 3D CAD Softwares for Jewelry Design
Choosing a 3D CAD software for jewelry design is akin to selecting a car; the choice depends on your specific needs and expertise.
Software for Non-Professionals
If you’re not a professional jeweler, there are user-friendly jewelry apps such as Jweel or WizeGem that don’t require any specialized skills. Other versatile tools include TinkerCad, Sketchup, and Blender, which offer useful features for beginners.
Software for Various 3D Creations
For 3D professionals not specifically in the jewelry business, there are numerous software solutions tailored to their respective industries, such as product design, cinema, video games, and architecture.
While these can be used to design jewelry, they may not be suitable for professional jewelers who need more specialized tools.
Software for Professional Jewelers
In the realm of professional jewelry design, four main software solutions stand out: Matrix, RhinoGold, JewelCad, and 3Design.
There are also complementary solutions available:
- For organic modeling: Zbrush, Clayoo, Tsplines or 3Shaper
- For high-level renderings: DeepImage, Keyshot, VRay or Brazil
The popularity and user base of each software vary among countries, depending on factors such as price, market share, and the unique features each solution offers.
3. How to Hire a CAD Designer for Your Jewelry Design
If you want to create stunning jewelry designs, you need a skilled CAD designer who can help you visualize your ideas and turn them into reality.
Here are some tips on how to find the right CAD designer for your project.
Start with websites like Artworks.
You can browse through portfolios of different CAD designers and see their work samples. You can also filter by software names, such as Rhino or Matrix, which are widely used in the jewelry industry.
Compare the prices and services of different CAD designers.
Some might charge per image or by the hour, while others might offer fixed packages or discounts. Be aware that any changes you make to the design could affect the cost.
Look for a CAD designer who has experience in 3D modeling for stone setting.
This is a crucial skill for jewelry design. They should also be familiar with the production process, especially for stone setting, and know how to use different settings like bezel set, prong set, bead set, pave set, micro pave, channel set, flush setting, helo, and cluster set.
Designers without practical experience are prone to making critical design errors when creating digital CAD models. Therefore, understanding the fundamentals of jewelry creation is crucial.
There’s no room for error in this process. However, with professionally trained and highly qualified designers like those at Jewepiter, you can expect a smooth process and flawless designs. This way, you can save time and money and get high-quality results.
4. CAD Jewelry Design Process in Jewelry Making
The CAD process is not as complex as it sounds. Let’s break down the CAD process.
Step 1: Gathering the Basic Information
Before beginning the CAD process, you need to have all the necessary details for your custom jewelry design. This includes the finger size, stone size, shape, and any other components that are required for your piece.
Know Jewelry Measurements
You should have a clear idea of the exact dimensions and measurements of your jewelry piece. This includes everything from the height, width, and diameter to the thickness of the piece.
Some jewelry designers even use clay or plasticine to create a physical model of their design to get a better sense of its shape and size.
Visualize Your Piece
Try to envision what your piece will look like as a jewelry item. This will help your CAD designer and manufacturer when it comes to producing the samples. If you want a particular texture on the piece, provide as many visuals and images as possible to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation.
Step 2: Turning Your 2D Thoughts into a 3D Model
Once you have all this information, it’s time to bring your design to life. Using CAD software, you can transform your 2D idea into a 3D model. This is where you can get creative, adding intricate details and unique features to your design.
Step 3: Refining Your Design
After creating the basic layout of your design, it’s time to add more details. Depending on your design, you might want to add different shapes, patterns, or stones.
Step 4: Lightening the Weight of the Ring
The bigger and heavier the piece, the more expensive it will be due to the increased silver content. Therefore, if you’re looking to reduce costs, you might consider reducing the thickness of the piece or hollow out parts of the jewelry.
Take rings as an example, you can do this by hollowing out parts of the ring. This can be done within the CAD software by creating channels inside the ring.
But be careful – going too thin or hollow could compromise the detail or aesthetic look of your design and make it too fragile.
Step 5: Finalizing Your Design
After all the details are in place, you can finalize your design. This is the finished 3D model that you’ll use to create your piece of jewelry.
Step 6: Creating a Metal Model
The next step is to create a physical model of your design. This is done using a wax model of your design. The jewelry design made with CAD undergoes the casting process.
The wax is melted away, and your chosen metal, typically gold, silver, or platinum, is substituted in molten form. The metal then hardens into the shape of your jewelry. This method is known as “lost wax” casting.
Step 7: Assembling Basic Jewelry
The final fabrication of your jewelry can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks after it has passed through the design and casting stages.
The jewelry manufacturer refines the main construction of your piece at this phase. The manufacturer must make any necessary aesthetic alterations and ensure that the piece can support gemstones functionally.
Step 8: Stone Setting
The stone setter places the stones or other materials on your piece. The center stone is carefully placed into the mount. If side stones are used, each individual stone is set using a microscope.
Step 9: Quality Control & Finishing
In the final stage, a polisher ensures that the metal is perfectly polished and gleaming. Any last touches, such as engravings, are applied. Finally, each detail of the jewelry is examined to ensure smooth production.
Understanding these basic steps of jewelry manufacturing will put you in a better position when dealing with your selected jewelry studio or production manufacturer.
In conclusion, understanding CAD and its importance in jewelry design can help you create designs that not only look good on paper but also translate well into the final product.
So, take the time to perfect your designs and choose the right CAD designer and jewelry manufacturer to help bring your vision to life. Happy designing!