While many jewelry manufacturers in Los Angeles still design and produce models by hand, high volume manufacturers routinely use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) programs to meet the rigorous demands. There are many benefits to using these systems, as they can create accurate and detailed representations of jewelry. Read on to discover the benefits of using CAD and CAM during your jewelry design, and how they help the manufacturing process.
Design With Accuracy
Many CAD systems are made for general designing purposes. Architects, automotive manufacturers, aerospace engineers, and civil engineers use computer-aided design in their work. While computer-aided design has many applications across various industries, there is CAD software created specifically for jewelers. These can accurately generate jewelry designs in two and three-dimensions. Even the smallest details can be modelled in these programs, and many have jewelry specific tools to add milling supports and cuts to your model.
CAD software is also useful when trying to resize a piece or a stone, apply design elements from one piece to another, and create fine details like filets and paves. Additionally, you can use CAD to create realistic renderings that clients can perceive as the prototype of the end result.
Computer aided design also works hand-in-hand with computer aided manufacturing.
Create a Replica
While CAD allows you to design and reproduce an image of a jewelry piece, using CAD with computer aided manufacturing allows you to create a physical replica of the piece. With a model, jewelers and clients can not only better represent their vision, but also examine for any flaws.
CAM also prepares a piece for manufacturing, as many are made of wax and can be used in casting. Several CAM jewelry design systems also come with CAD software installed for use with the printing machine. The Roland JWX-30 and the Solidscape R66 are two of the most popular CAD/CAM partnerships in the jewelry industry.
Invest and Commit
While using computer design and manufacturing programs can greatly benefit your company, there are several important issues to keep in mind. For CAD, specifically, knowledge and design ability are paramount. Keeping up with the latest design innovations necessitates dedication to learning and expanding your knowledge. Furthermore, design talent is crucial to properly utilizing materials. Understanding tolerance and how to calculate weight, among other design aspects, are stepping stones to creating a quality piece.
Since CAM and CAD programs can be expensive, it may be more cost effective for first-time jewelry makers to partner with a large manufacturer that implements these technologies.
Test Your Limits
With CAD and CAM, you can literally dream anything into a design. Just make sure your dream is producible with well supported elements and appropriate metals and stones. As jewelry manufacturers, you’ll need to constantly consider the physical creation of your piece to ensure its successful production. If you’re a designer looking to create a new piece and you don’t have access to these programs, look into CAD jewelry design services available near you.