It seems the Smart Jewellery Show sponsored by InStore magazine hosts an annual live Jewellery CAD competition where CAD designers worked with a design draftsmen to realise a bespoke design on both paper and in CAD within a 2 hour time limit.
Combined with the Gemvision Symposium’s annual competition, the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council’s annual awards (including CAD), and the Goldsmiths Centre‘s recent live CAD design event in May, it points to a potentially very interesting tipping point in the widespread use of jewellery CAD in industry.
The concept of live computer graphics shows is hardly new– Siggraph has been showcasing and selling software and hardware for as long as there actually has been a commercial field of computer graphics. Likewise, there has always been a market for playing video games in the public space (once upon a time in arcades). But, oddly enough, the phenomenon of live competitions based around PC software users is a relatively new phenomenon.
Video game cabinets in their day inspired competitions, which grew with the user base to eventually for prizes. When game cabinets were replaced with consoles, video game competitions actually grew bigger on account of a wider available audience. But even with this steady growth, PC’s were never really seriously considered as a medium for multiplayer games, let alone gaming competitions.
From what I can tell, two things changed this. The first was the steady decline in price of personal computers led to the prospect of PCs being affordable as a toy as well as an office tool. The second was the advent of the internet, which brought with it multiplayer games on a scale never seen before.
Nowadays, it seems due to the sheer size of them, gaming competitions are now big business. As it takes a fairly large user base to warrant even live events, much less a competition, their appearance in a particular field of computing is indication of rising popularity and widespread use.
If jewellery CAD is now seeing the appearance of live events and competitions, this could mean the user base has reached a tipping point at which there are enough users to form its own culture, complete with competitions, awards, and support organisations. Potentially a very exciting thought indeed.