Finger Painting Jewellery (or How to Design a Jewellery CAD Model on a Touch Screen)

While in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across this.

In case you’re wondering, the above software is Firestorm CAD, a new piece of jewellery design software based upon Spaceclaim‘s CAD architecture. Note that Firestorm was designed to work with a mouse and keyboard interface, so this multitouch interface could theoretically be used on any CAD software, with some adjustments.

My thoughts on the above after the break.

This is not the first time I’ve seen technology like this presented to the public, either. A few months ago the Metro newspaper in London showcased an artist making illustrations using only an Ipad (courtesy Kyle Lambert).

It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? Perhaps this marks a trend, or a new development with the experimentation in user interfaces currently ongoing in computer-design.

It’s not a new or original idea to try to find short cuts for any method of production. Nearly all industry-specific CAD manufacturers do that to some extent. Likewise, it’s not a new or original idea to try to make a better interface than the mouse and keyboard (pen tablets have been trying for decades.)

What makes this interesting is that they’re stripping back the user interface for design software to such a minimal extent, and still managing to get enough functionality out of it to be productive. Of course it’s not quite there yet, but the fact they’ve made this much progress really hints at some interesting things to come.


Bespoke jewellery designer, and specialist in jewellery CAD/CAM and emergent technologies that affect jewellery.

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