But, just like I normally do here, I don’t normally post these things without adding my own additional advice:
<UPDATE – The original article has been updated to include some more accessible schemes and programmes not previously mentioned.>
BBC Business News recently aired a segment on How Crafts Workers are Learning to Sell their Work. In the segment, both the mentors and the craftsmen highlighted the importance of learning business skills. The mentors also pointed out the balancing act required to stay a luxury manufacturer without devoting all your time on building the brand. While the examples provided were silversmithing and leatherwork, this is every bit as true for a new jewellery business.
Walpole’s Brands of Tomorrow mentoring scheme mentioned in the video is an interesting one for ambitious luxury craft designers, but highly competitive (as you can see from the description on their own site). Since not everyone is aiming for the top end luxury market, I think it’s worth sharing some of the other UK business training schemes and support out there for craftsmen and budding jewellery businesses.
Over at the i.materialise blog, they have recently released a wonderful interview with Jonathan Williamson, professional 3D CGI modeller and tutor from CG Cookie, a training site for 3D modelling for the gaming industry.
I agree with all of his points. While his advice is more focused on CGI modelling for video and games (as shown in his choices of software, none of which I would ever recommend for Jewellery CAD or 3D printing), he does mention product design and toy design, and his advice resonates with any specialism of 3D modelling, including jewellery design. But most importantly, what he says about the world badly needing more 3D content creators echoes what I’ve previously said in my lectures and on this blog, and it is good to hear others pushing for this.
Have a look:
Recently i.materialise‘s increasingly well-written blog publised a good article on ways to help 3D printing content creators to make their work more profitable through online distribution. While the article is primarily directed at i.materialise users, most of the tips are relevant to other 3D modelling marketplaces, such as Shapeways or Thingiverse. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth a read for those students and individuals who are trying to find new ways to monetise their CAD modelling work.
For anyone who has been following activity on these sites, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is definitely a strong market out their for bespoke produced items via 3D printing. I will be curious to see how this market evolves. Will it become a race to the bottom for worker’s wages, or will it lead to an entirely new ecosystem of tiers of skilled designers?
The technicians at FormLabs have written a first rate article on painting and applying clear-coats to 3D printed models to turn them from prototypes into sellable parts.
Considering just about every other area of product design makes use of paint jobs for finishing parts, it make sense there are likely CAD jewellery designers out there who would find this technique useful for their work.
While many of the choices are primarily from digital effects programs, they can all be used with some adjustments to your workflow, and with the right tolerances jewellery design will work just fine.
They’ve left off quite a bit of jewellery specific sculpting programs, however. ArtCAM Jewelsmith features 2.5D relief sculpting, while 3Design’s Shaper, and the T-Splines and Clayoo Rhino plug-ins all offer organic modelling to more traditional types of product design CAD, but this is still a helpful list.