Jewellery Focus recently wrote an interesting editorial on how designer jewellery brands are tapping into the zeitgeist by finding weird and wonderful ways to manufacture their jewellery. While it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said about the classic strategy of differentiating a brand by using exotic materials or manufacturing process, Mr. Northcote is absolutely right in pointing out the growing number of designer jewellery brands who are happily stepping into what was once the preserve of the contemporary art jeweller– innovative choices of material and method. CAD/CAM of course is one of these methods, but these innovators borrow techniques from many crafts and industries such as wood working, ceramics, stone cutting, and industrial metal tooling.
To add to the short list of makers included in the article (such as Bailey of Sheffield and Vanacci), here are a few of a growing list of premium and luxury brands which create jewellery using both innovative materials and innovative manufacturing processes:
As part of James Allen‘s recently launched but absolutely brilliant marketing push for millennial grooms, they teamed up with Buzzfeed to create the Engagement Ring Challenge, where both partners separately design an engagement ring using James Allen’s online bespoke design tools, and then compare.
The end results and reactions are cute, and only half predictable:
While online ring design tools are now quite commonplace in the market, this is surely one of those ideas that is probably making a lot of jewellery companies say “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
As a bonus, after the break I’ve also shared James Allen’s hilarious jewellery advert that’s making the rounds now on Youtube:
A few weeks ago the Economist ran a briefing on 3D printing and it’s effects on mass production, alongside an equally good leader article. While it is general in its nature, there are elements in the article about jewellery manufacturing.
Overall, the article both provides a current snapshot of the readily available state of the art in rapid manufacturing, as well as introducing to the general public how current trends in 3D printing are affecting the way commercial and industrial goods are manufactured. They’ve even mentioned in passing a commonly reiterated point about 3D printing’s particular strength in the area of small scale mass production versus using traditional mass production on short product runs.
I’m listing it here as a useful reference for those jewellery CAD/CAM users who may want somewhere to start when communicating to others what the fuss is about with 3D printing.
For years we’ve been gradually seeing the growth of more and more websites which attempt to provide a connection between CAD modellers and customers in need of their services. Whether it is being driven by the propagation of 3D printers, a greater number of creatives trying to start their own businesses, or simply a growing interest in personalised consumer goods, it is clear there is a steadily growing demand for creative CAD services. The question is where do these new digital middlemen fit in between the 3D modeller and the customer.
In a previous article we talked about the different ways in which CAD is being used by jewellers to interact with their customers. For this article, I’m going to look at the market from the other direction, and explore ways in which jewellery CAD designers can offer their skills to the wider market.
For this month’s Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I present Artur Dabrowski.
Artur was trained as an architect based in Brooklyn. Through his Shapeways shop and his own website, he has been making some elegant pieces of jewellery using CAD.
More after the break.
I don’t normally recommend online courses, but seeing as what they’re teaching isn’t really being taught anywhere else at the moment at this general basic level, it’s worth sharing.
3Dprint.com is running a series of Beginner Design for 3D Printing and Advanced Design for 3D Printing online courses. These are courses designed for providing individuals with essential knowledge of preparing CAD models for 3D printing, and basic tolerances and design principles for building objects for 3D printing in plastic and other materials. Considering this information is always useful for CAD designers and only taught in a few places (besides my own courses), I reckon it’s worthwhile. We’ve missed the early bird registration, but there is still time to enrol for the summer courses starting on 20 June.
We have an exciting summer season of jewellery CAD short courses planned at the British Academy of Jewellery in London starting 12 June. If you’ve been reading about the CAD training here but have been curious about taking one of the CAD courses I’ve developed, now is your chance.