But, just like I normally do here, I don’t normally post these things without adding my own additional advice:
<Update- The publishers got in contact with me after writing this review, and helped me with some corrections to some of the publishing information and dates. The article has been amended accordingly.>
A few weeks ago, I discovered a book called Designing Jewelry with Rhino by Eliania Rosetti being out of Brazil. Since it’s become clear that more CAD jewellers need to know about this book, I’ve written a brief review here.
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?
Shapeways has published a simple but useful article outlining three common ways in which a traditional hand making jeweller could take advantage of 3D printing.
They’ve covered most of the good points of using CAD/CAM for jewellery in plain language– the idea of building a virtual collection, the idea of not working at the bench, and the idea of testing models for fit. I would also add the advantage of sending files via email to manufacturers and factories rather than posting master models or moulds as well to their list, and letting them prototype the pieces on their end.
Of course, this does make the bold assumption that said jeweller can actually use jewellery CAD to produce their models.
Our friends at i.materialise have put together their own list of cheap or free 3D CAD programs to help people get started with product design CAD for 3D printing.
While not all of these choices are the easiest to learn (Blender has a reputation for a steep learning curve), and none of them are particularly designed for making jewellery specifically, it is a good list. But if we’re discussing inexpensive CAD programs for 3D printing, I would also add 3DCoat as well.