I recently stumbled upon an article from Adobe’s Think Tank about the importance of virtual stock, and how it will affect both retail and manufacturing. Although it is an old posting, it’s worth repeating here:
Rapid Prototyping (more recently known as 3D printing) has been available for industrial design for over 2 decades now, and it’s been in increasingly widespread use with jewellery for a little less than a decade. But even with that, there are only a handful of designers who use rapid prototyping as a creative medium in and of itself. Mostly designers seem to handle CAD/CAM according to the old cosmetics adage: “If it’s done well, you won’t be able to see it.”
There are at least two major universities which have worked hard to push the boundaries of what can be done with this medium (namely Tyler School of Art, and Jewellery Industry Innovation Center at BCU), but once designers leave these halls few continue on a track of innovation with this, even after all this time.
This explains why I find it rather exciting to run across designers like this:
|3D printed nylon bangle by Joshua DeMonte|
In case you didn’t notice, the Microsoft X-Box Kinect has been launched today.
I’ve been following AR (Augmented Reality) technology for a while, even before it had been given the name Augmented Reality. It has roots going back to the Virtual Reality craze in the mid 90’s, and has been in development in its own right since the early noughties. Market-ready applications have only really started appearing last year, and adoption has started this year.
The following 3 examples not only show the potential for Augmented Reality, but also how companies are already using it for practical retail or entertainment uses.
In the field of jewellery design and manufacturing, there are a few American transplants over here to Europe (Elizabeth Gage and Jack Rosenthal of JAR). While I wouldn’t be so audacious as to compare myself to their talents, I too am an American transplant to the Europe, the UK in particular. Given my experience with both the American and British jewellery markets, I reckon this gives me some perspective to allow me to talk about some key differences in the American and British jewellery industries.
Since this blog focuses on jewellery manufacturing technology (in particular, technologies related to CAD/CAM), and I would hardly claim any economic expertise, I’ll direct my focus primarily onto the business of jewellery design and manufacturing. It’s all too easy to say that there are differences in the tastes of the consumers in each country, but the really interesting question here is how are businesses affected by consumer tastes and the economic climates in which they operate?
…No, I don’t mean “free love”. I’m talking about the ability of different software packages to pass models and files between each other, more commonly referred to importing and exporting files. The problem is, as all of you who have worked with multiple different CAD software packages before, it is not always that easy.
It really boils down to a question of: why does there need to be so many different proprietary file formats?
While in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across this.
In case you’re wondering, the above software is Firestorm CAD, a new piece of jewellery design software based upon Spaceclaim‘s CAD architecture. Note that Firestorm was designed to work with a mouse and keyboard interface, so this multitouch interface could theoretically be used on any CAD software, with some adjustments.
My thoughts on the above after the break.