The perennially wonderful Ganoksin Project website has posted an old article from the MJSA Journal offering an interesting case study in using CAD modelling to amplify a classically designed filigree bespoke engagement ring made for a client commission. The design in question is one of the many excellent pieces made by Ron Litolff of Gemstone Designs. (His CAD work is strong enough to warrant adding to the Something Beautiful in Jewellery section).
While the story is rather lacking in imagery, he does provide an interesting step by step account of his approach to surface texturing in Gemvision Matrix Jewellery CAD. It contains some good suggestions for solving certain problems in making American Deep South style heavy engagement rings like the one you see below.
(or “Why can’t we just 3D scan a ring and make copies on a 3D printer?”)
Last Updated 14 June 2016.
This is a question which seems to come up mainly among advanced students or those already experienced with using CAD for jewellery, but I do get the occasional person who has just been to a trade show and seen the latest 3D scanning machine released onto the market. Either way I reckon this is a good question to answer next, as it ties in with several other FAQ articles I’ve written previously for this site.
It seems for the past 10 years 3D scanners have been improving rapidly in terms of scanning resolution, scanned mesh quality, assembly of data, ease of use, and efficiency of file sizes (otherwise known as decimation to those who work with the machines).
You’ll even see salesmen and technicians at trade shows demonstrating how easy it is to 3D scan a ceramic or plastic part or a visitor’s face, import it straight into their program, and manipulate the mesh form in full colour.
So why doesn’t this scanning device work the same way with jewellery?
Well, it kind of does, but not at all in the way you would expect, and as of the date this article was written 3D scanning still faces some serious technical limitations. To answer this question fully, I’ll have to answer the question in three parts: the differences between the various CAD geometry types used by 3D modelling software packages, the problems with model conversion, and the technical limitations of the 3D scanners themselves.
And now for the second of my two jewellery CAD video tutorials focusing on how to use Matrix CAD techniques in Rhino. This one covers the Gem Cutter, Gem on Surface, and Prong tools.
As with the previous tutorial, those who might be concerned about whether this would make Matrix unnecessary shouldn’t be– when you watch the video it quickly becomes clear that these techniques won’t approach the efficiency of Matrix. However, it’s nice to know that if you’ve taken a Matrix class you won’t be stuck if you have to downgrade to Rhino.
You asked for it, so here it is:
I present the first of my two jewellery CAD video tutorials focusing on how to use Matrix CAD techniques in Rhino. This one covers the Ring Rail, Profile Placer, Gem Loader, and Bezel Builder.
To those who are concerned about whether this would make Matrix unnecessary– when you watch the video it quickly becomes clear that these techniques won’t approach the efficiency of Matrix. However, it’s nice to know that if you’ve taken a Matrix class you won’t be stuck if you have to downgrade to Rhino.
Unsurprisingly, Gemvision has been busy since we last checked on them. Matrix 8 development is well under way. They’ve been releasing recently sneak peek looks of the results of the brand new Animation Builder. See for yourself:
It seems this week we don’t just have one competition starting, but two!
Gemvision‘s annual Design Contest has just opened, and is accepting designs for Gemvision Matrix and Countersketch.
There are several categories. Check out the Gemvision website for more information on entry rules and possible entry categories.
Has anyone ever seen this?
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. Continue reading