Rhino For Jewellery CAD Design and Rapid Prototyping
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 two options:
- I’ve designed several Rhino short courses for beginner and intermediate users, specifically focused on Jewellery Design. I also offer separate private tuition for several jewellery design related plug-ins such as Clayoo, T-Splines, and V-Ray. Each of these emphasises key problem solving strategies for turning your ideas into CAD models for 3D printing. 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 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.
Selected Tutorial Videos – Rhino for Jewellery
Tutorial Videos of My Creation
- Making a Channel Set Eternity Ring
- Using Matrix techniques in Rhino part 1 – Making ring rails and profiles for sweeping, and making gemstones and bezel settings
- Using Matrix techniques in Rhino part 2 – Making gems on surface, gem cutters, and pave prongs
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
- Basics of Rhino’s User Interface
- Basic Commands – Move, Rotate, Copy, and Scale
- Making a Basic Ring With 1 Rail Sweep
- Making a Basic Tapering Ring (Ties in nicely with my Matrix techniques in Rhino part 1 tutorial above)
- Flow Along Curve on a Ring
- Making an Assher cut diamond
- Making Gemstones and Gem Cutters with Loft (A nice alternative to using Revolve or Rail Revolve for making Gemstones and Gem Cutters)
- Tulip Setting Part 1 – Making a Basic Tulip Setting with Pipe and Polar Array
- Tulip Setting Part 2 – Adding a Gallery with Trim and Bend
- Tulip Setting Part 3 – Using Boolean Split and Wirecut
- 5 Techniques for creating end-caps for your Sweeps
Intermediate Rhino Commands and Strategies
- Making a Ring With a Patterned Surface
- One Approach for Making a Simple Bombay Ring
- Making a Collegiate Signet Ring, Part 1
- Making a Collegiate Signet Ring, Part 2
- Making a Collegiate Signet Ring, Part 3
- Editing Surface Control Points with Gumball
- Techniques for preparing a halo ring for rendering
There is also a good Vimeo Rhino Tutorials page.