3Design CAD (pronounced Three Design) is the only jewellery CAD program that runs on Mac and Linux as well as PC. It offers a very different approach to modelling, involving working with solids rather than surfaces, deforming existing shapes, and combining them with a host of jewellery-specific commands such as pave and shank builders.
3Design is a fully parametric CAD modelling program. That means you don’t store models as geometry, but rather as steps in a process. If you go back and change an earlier step, all later steps will be affected. While most CAD programs now have some limited parametric capability (often called History), the fact 3Design is designed entirely around parametric modelling makes it ideal for any workflow where the designer has to rework the design over and over again, such as size ranges or collections based on the same motif.
To Learn More About Jewellery CAD/CAM
If this whets your appetite for learning more about how to use 3Design software for your CAD/CAM jewellery design and manufacturing, I can provide you with three options:
Through The British Academy of Jewellery I offer a short courses in 3Design CAD for beginner and intermediate users, focusing on using 3Design’s parametric functionality to help streamline the design and editing process for CAD jewellery design.
Finally, I have collected a series of tutorial videos below which can both help you get a feeling for what the software is like to use, and also how to perform certain key tasks in the software.
Selected Tutorial Videos – 3Design CAD
Tutorial Videos of My Creation
Tutorial Videos From Other Users
- Basic Flower Pendant with Sweep and Circular Duplication
- Easy Engagement Ring
- The Loft Command
- Mapping Stars
- Advanced Surface Texture Tool
- Wire Bracelet
- Building a Ruby Halo Ring
- Teardrop Pendant with 3Shaper
- Sculpting a Starfish with 3Shaper
Also, if you speak Spanish (or are good at following visuals), the Escuela de Joyeria CADJ channel on Youtube has numerous excellent tutorials on using the various tools in 3Design.