Rhino For Jewellery CAD Design and Rapid Prototyping

Filigree sphere attached to chain bracelet modelled in Rhino 3D CAD

Originally developed as a response to AutoCAD’s limitations with smooth 3D modelling, Rhino 3D is a general product design NURBS-based CAD tool which has been adopted by many different design specialities such as furniture, footwear, and jewellery.

While the core Rhino program is all that is really needed to design models for rapid prototyping, each design speciality has added extensions (or plug-ins) for Rhino to make their jobs easier. Some examples include rendering tools (such as V-Ray or Keyshot), additional methods of working (T-Splines), or some of the older Jewellery plug-ins (such as RhinoGold or RhinoJewel). Generally when I provide Rhino 3D training for jewellers, I teach the software as if students only own Rhino without any plug-ins.

Rhino 3D’s Advantages and Disadvantages

Rhino is one of the few truly general product design CAD programs to really make the concept of a general program for everyone work. It’s general set of tools give it a great deal of flexibility, and also make it ideal for designing precision assemblies. Also, it features a tremendous amount of customisability to suit different methods of working.

Its strength is also its weakness, however. On account of being a general purpose product design CAD program, there are no time-saving tools or techniques for specific industries included, so certain tasks are always slower than they would be in a jewellery specific program.

There’s more to it than just that. Contact me to discuss the advantages of Rhino 3D relative to other jewellery CAD programs, and whether Rhino is the best jewellery CAD software package for you.

To Learn More About Jewellery CAD/CAM

If any of these tutorials whets your appetite for learning more about how to use Rhino for jewellery CAD design and manufacturing, I can provide you with three options:

  1. I’ve designed several Rhino short courses for beginner and intermediate users, specifically focused on Jewellery Design. Each of these emphasises key problem solving strategies for turning your ideas into CAD models for 3D printing. Go to our Courses and Events page to find out about upcoming courses.
  2. Contact me directly to find out more about upcoming short courses and bespoke private tuition in Rhino 3D to suit your business needs and timetables. I can also offer separate bespoke training in any one of several Rhino plug-ins such as Clayoo, T-Splines, V-Ray, or Keyshot.
  3. I have also collected a series of tutorial videos below which can both help you get a feeling for what the software is like to use, and also how to perform certain key tasks in the software.

Rhino 3D in Action

Selected Tutorial Videos – Rhino for Jewellery

Tutorial Videos of My Creation

Tutorial Videos From Other Users

There have been several people who have made jewellery CAD tutorials for Rhino over the years, with quality varying all over the shop. The following are a list of the best I have found. In particular, Khay Amani has done a series of very helpful basic Rhino tutorials which are included below:

Basic Rhino Commands and Strategies

Intermediate Rhino Commands and Strategies

There is also a good Vimeo Rhino Tutorials page.

21 Comments Rhino For Jewellery – Jewellery CAD Software Overviews and Tutorials

  1. Hello..

    This is Papia Goswami,a manual jewelery designer with a 8 years experence of Indian and contemporary jewelry market. Just have started learning Rhino,would like to know and practice more on this to have a better skillset.

    Would be greatfull to have some classes and technique tips and proffessional guidence on that.

    Reply would be much appreciated..

    Papia Goswami

    1. Hello Papia:

      If you’d like to know more about taking classes, you can contact me directly for courses through my contact link above.

      I am in London, so you know, but if you are coming through this way I can offer suggestions as to where to stay.

      Best Regards,


      1. If you’re looking to learn Matrix 9 specifically, I only currently offer it as one to one training. You can contact me through my contact form.

        But since you wrote a message here, I’ll email you directly.

  2. dear Jack,
    thanks a lot for creating this very interesting website about jewelry CAD and sharing so many precious informations with CAD jewelry makers.
    Unfortunately and until now, i don’t have the chance to follow your private lessons in Holts academy.
    I appreciate very much the quality of your tutorials on your website.
    Is it possible to suscribe and get more from yours ?
    In effect, I have already followed 70 hours of rhino 5 lessons in BJO in Paris and i would like to improve my knoledge of rhino 5 applied to jewelry and discover Matrix with e-learning lessons.
    if unfortunately, you would not be able to provide me other demonstrations of rings and other jewelry objects built with rhino and Matrix, could you please advice me some e-learning compagnies providing lessons of the same quality than yours ?
    In the futur, if i manage to organise myself to come and have private lessons with you in London, could you give me an idea of how it works and the price for that, please ?
    thanks a lot for your help.
    kind regards,
    Alix Grandchamp

    1. Dear Clare:

      I have heard of two different companies which sell Rhino in South Africa.

      The first is Simply Rhino. I have done business with them myself through their London branch: http://www.simplyrhino.co.za/about/RSA.html

      The other is Digital Wax. They also sell Matrix as well as Rhino and its various plug-ins (such as RhinoGold and RhinoJewel): http://www.digitalwax.co.za/

      See what they say, and tell them both I said hi.



  3. hello sir
    i am a student of literature and have great interest in designing.
    can i make my career by learning rhino cad???

    1. Dear Shilpa:

      If you want to get into product design or jewellery design, CAD is a helpful tool, but it is not the place to start. The best thing you can do is to learn some essential drawing and physical making skills before you try to do them on a computer.

      My suggestion: find a good jewellery drawing class, as well as a basic course in jewellery making. Between those, that will make a huge difference in your ability to design models in Rhino CAD for use in 3D printing or manufacturing.

      Hope that helps,


  4. hello sir
    i am a student of literature and have great interest in designing.
    can i make my career by learning rhino cad???


    1. Hi Amol:

      I’m afraid going straight into CAD without any previous design or art experience does not work.

      Think of it this way: if you were to request a shoe designer create you a custom shoe, you would expect that designer to know both how to draw as well as how shoes were made, yes?

      This is why I always recommend anyone who is serious about becoming a designer do the following before learning jewellery CAD of any sort:

      1.) Learn to draw.
      2.) Spend some time learning how to make jewellery by hand.

      I hope that helps. It is possible to get a career making 3D models for 3D printing, or working directly in jewellery. There are many articles on the blog about both of them.



      1. Hi Jack,
        How long does the Student version last for CAR Rhino? Does the student version have all the functionalities enabled like the regular version?

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