Learning Center

CAD/CAM

Learn how to use Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) for jewelry making. Read these program reviews and practical guides.

57 ARTICLES 50 VIDEOS 6 PRODUCTS
Article
Digital Imaging

This segment from the 2017 MJSA Journal November issue is dedicated to metals, tools, software and more that aids jewelers and designers in their quest to create their masterpieces.  In this article we talk about Digital Imaging. See related…

Article
CAD/CAM Designer Tools

This segment from the 2017 MJSA Journal November issue is dedicated to metals, tools, software and more that aids jewelers and designers in their quest to create their masterpieces.  In this article we talk about CAD/CAM Designer Tools.…

Product
Carbide3D Nomad 883 Pro CNC Mill

carve your computer-generated designs with incredible detail-and surprising speed-right on your desktop (using your own computer and monitor) with the fast, affordable, space-conscious Carbide3D Nomad 883 Pro CNC mill. The Nomad 883…

Product
B9 Core Series 530 3D Printer

With this fast, affordable, well-built B9 Core Series 3D printer, you build models directly from designs you’ve created using your computer and just about any CAD design software that renders .stl files-the B9 Core Series software…

Article
Preparing 3D Acrylic Photopolymer Patterns

Editors Note: This article is excerpted from “A New Method for Preparing 3D Acrylic Photopolymer Patterns for Investment Casting,” a paper by James Binnion that was published in the proceedings of the 2016 Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry…

Article
Step by Step Guide to Fishtail Settings

One of the most popular setting styles today, fishtail settings are one of the few setting methods that show off melee really well. It gets its name from the fact that when viewed from the side, the prongs flare out into two sections that resemble…

Article
Cross-Sectional Critique

This article is a  Cross-Sectional Critique of applying clipping planes to model manufacturability written by Darla Alvarez of GIA Jewelry Design & Technology Instructor. One of the potentially overlooked advantages of using CAD…

Article
CAD Repair Programs for Unprintable Files

Using CAD repair programs to save unprintable files You spend hours creating a custom piece in CAD for one of your favorite clients. The metal she loves, the colored stones she’s been wanting, a unique expression of her style. Now the file…

Product
Asiga PICO2 HD Printer

The PICO2 HD delivers extraordinary resolution and build capacity to your desktop. It is ideal for the production of jewelry casting patterns and master models with a build envelope large enough to print bangles and larger items. Print up…

Product
Asiga PICO2 39 Series

Leading the way in Desktop Resolution. Realize your CAD designs quickly with the PICO 2, the industry leading desktop printer for direct production of jewelry casting patterns and master models. Print up to 20 parts in less than 1 hour. Technical…

Article
Conversations on Technology

Conversations on Technology happened during a couple of cold winter evenings, Stanley Lechtzin and Michael Dunas examined ideas raised at the November symposium “Innovations/Applications: Technological Pioneers in Metalsmithing,”…

Article
Translating Line Art into 3D Models in Matrix

Line art, such as logos, family crests, text or numbers, cartoon characters, and even sketches can be quickly and easily translated into 3D models in Matrix for use in a variety of jewelry designs. Depending on the skill of the user, the end use…

Article
Joel Kahn’s Qbasic Jewelry Gallery

My day job used to be comptroller at a jewelry store. My hobby is computer graphics. These images are the result of combining the two environments. I hope that jewelry designers will look at these pictures & find elements that they can put…

Article
Resolving Surface Irregularities in T-Splines

T-splines, a plug-in for Rhinoceros CAD software and bundled with Matrix 7 and above, is a great modeling tool for freeform designs. In the jewelry industry, T-splines makes it possible to create on-the-fly, continuous curvature surfaces…

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CNC Milling vs. 3D Printing

For someone new to the jewelry industry, the sheer assortment of tools and equipment in the typical workshop can be overwhelming. That’s especially true when it comes to technology, which changes so rapidly. If you’ve invested…

Article
Melee Sizes for Better Layouts

In modern-day fine jewelry, the most commonly used stone material is round brilliant-cut (RBC) diamond melee. Widely available in a multitude of sizes, the application of RBC melee in a jewelry computer-aided design (CAD) model is limited…

Article
CAD Design Problems

Making jewelry is the perfect confluence of art and science. It’s where aesthetic and inspiration meet application and practicality. Computer-aided design (CAD) software is one of the tools that helps brings these two sides of the equation…

Article
Metalsmith Suite iPhone App Test

The jewelry industry today is not what it was 15 or 20 years ago. From CAD/CAM to inventory control software, computers have changed the way we design and manufacture jewelry. The main benefits these and other new technologies offer is the ability…

Article
The CounterSketch Studio

Matt Stuller and Jeff High first started talking seriously about the idea that would become CounterSketch Studio in 2008. The two leaders – Stuller is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Stuller Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana, and High…

Article
2013 MJSA Thinking Ahead Award – Mike Joyce

For the past 10 years, MJSA has recognized the technological advances and products that are making a difference in the jewelry industry today and as we move into the future. The honorees are selected with the guidance of the esteemed experts…

Article
Extra Setting Material for CAD Files

When setting gemstones into castings that started life as CAD files, jewelers often complain that they don’t have quite enough metal with which to work. Building a little extra setting material into your CAD files is simple, and it can…

Article
Overcoming Lightweight Casting Challenges

It’s no wonder that as precious metals prices have risen to new heights over the past few years, jewelry castings have gotten thinner and lighter to maintain reasonable price points. It’s not uncommon today for impossibly thin…

Article
The New Interactive Jewelry Design Technology

Take one 2.5 ct. cushion-cut peridot, add to it one very picky technical writer from a jewelry design software company, and what do you get? A tutorial describing how to use the powerful new interactive jewelry design technology available…

Article
Virtual Engraving in Matrix

When using CAD/CAM products like Gemvision’s Matrix, there are a number of “virtual” techniques to achieve renderings that more closely resemble the finished model. Of these, virtual engraving is a more advanced technique…

Article
CAD/CAM Techniques

The strength of Computer Aided Design &  Manufacturing is similar to that of any other tool on the bench:it is most effective when itis the right tool for the job.Gemvision’s Matrix 4.0 provides users with powerful design, presentation,and…

Article
CAD 3D Mesh Models

3D mesh models can add dimension and originality to your Matrix designs. Resources for finding and building 3D mesh models are as vast and varied as their uses. For example, Matrix provides a builder to transform your 2-D art into a 3D relief…

Article
CAD/CAM: Creating a Class Ring – Part 1

Advanced Jewelry Technologies (owned by this author) and Rio Grande are introducing a new CAD CAM system designed to make it far easier to make class rings, family crest jewelry, and corporate jewelry. This kit not only streamlines the concept…

Article
The Power of CAD Selling

As they say in the theological world, “necessity is the mother of invention” is just about how CAD or computer aided designing and I came together. I had several small jewelry repair service shops that were just getting by. Although…

Article
CAD/CAM: Creating a Class Ring – Part 2

These step-by-step instruction manual guides the process (see procedure for making the class ring). With a core product to produce, endless variations are possible. The system consists of two components. These components are ring making…

Article
CAD/CAM: Modeling Project in JewelSpace

CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) is bringing a new efficiency and profitability to the jewelry workplace. Who is better to use this technology than the bench jeweler with a working knowledge of jewelry construction? In…

Article
The Digital Tool Debate Continues

In approaching this article, I found there are many avenues to pursue in the exciting and controversial subject of digital design. I felt it best to give an overview for those not yet informed about the technological waters nipping at the shores…

Article
CAD/CAM: The Basics

What if you could sit down at your computer, spend a little time manipulating the mouse, keyboard or electronic pencil and create a piece of jewelry; then send that electronic creation to a small, desktop machine which would carve your design…

Article
CAD/CAM Systems for Metals and Jewelry

If you are involved with computers you know how rapidly things are changing, prices are sinking and capabilities increasing. Computer use in increasing in the jewelry field and at some point, probably sooner than you think you will see computers…

Article
Steve Abbott’s Knotwork Program

A cool application to create a computer generated Celtic Knots
Knots3D is written in Visual Basic 6. It comes with a built-in help file. You’ll need a reasonable Pentium to get the best out of Knots3D.

Article
Setting Trends with CAD-CAMs

In addition to reducing the labor required to move a design from the sketch stage to the actual model, CAD reduces misunderstandings between designers and model makers. Because pencil sketches are not always precisely scaled or proportioned,…

Article
Reinventing Retail with CAD

Greg Stopka of JewelSmiths in Pleasant Hill , California , has been in the jewelry business since he was eight years old. Through the years he has developed strong sales and presentation skills. But when he was introduced to CAD (computer-aided…

Article
Creative Freedom with Technology

The jewelry industry has seen a veritable flood of new technologies in recent years—from CAD/CAM and laser welders to new alloys and Precious Metal Clay (PMC). And after a tentative start, jewelry designers have begun to embrace them.…

Article
Jesse Kaufman’s Career Comeback

Carpal tunnel syndrome nearly ended Jesse Kaufman’s career as a bench jeweler and goldsmith. But CAD/CAM technology, [Orchid] a supportive online jewelry community, and a strong commitment of time and money gave Kaufman the tools he needed…

Article
CAD/CAM Wedding Set Finishing and Setting

Computer aided design (CAD) was used to develop three designs in multiple views to show the customer. After the design was selected, the wax was milled and the ring was cast, pre-finished, set and polished. Foredom tools, equipment and accessories…

Article
Phillip Voetsch’s Jewelry Design Process

Phillip Voetsch is an accomplished designer and master level bench jeweler, he began using 3D CAD/CAM technology 3 1/2 years ago. With each project, he begins by reviewing the information recorded during the interview, including key information…

Article
From CAD to Jewelry

Although jewelry design by goldsmiths and designers is characterized by unique pieces, unlike the industrial production of jewelry, ever greater numbers of jewelry designers are starting to tap the possibilities of computer-assisted…

Article
Jewelry Design and Manufacturing Process

At GLJW it iss not unusual to see the sales staff wearing jewelers aprons and optivisors at one of the 25 computers showing customers Matrix CAD layouts of a proposed design. Neither is it odd to see customers watching the mill shape their jewelry…

Article
10 Key Ingredient of Retail Success

After 30 years in the jewelry industry working as a bench jeweler, sales professional, manager and owner, Michael Gerwig had a very clear image of how he wanted to establish and build his new store in Fayetteville, AR. He envisioned Michael-Seigler…

Article
CAD/CAM: Passion and Innovation

Greg Stopka and his wife Lee began JewelSmiths 18 years ago with a belief they could succeed by providing jewelry repair and restoration directly to consumers – with no inventory. Dean Stopka (right), Gregs brother joined the couple 12 years…

Article
CAD/CAM Design and Model Making Services

Retailers seeking designers and model makers for fulfilling custom orders or for developing new designs exclusive to their inventories have a growing variety of options available to them. Companies providing these services through Computer…

Article
Paul Klecka Joins the Digital Revolution

Without a doubt, jewelry designer Paul Klecka has joined the digital jewelry design revolution. Evolving from a traditional business model wherein his company took orders for his designs, manufactured the product and then shipped to some…

Article
Testing the CAD/CAM LMR Mold Compound

The new Romanoff LMR is a clear silicone RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) liquid mold rubber compound with a platinum-containing catalyst, which makes it ideal for use by jewelry manufacturers. Curing can be heat-accelerated, but the…

Article
CAD/CAM and Expertise of David Nytch

David Nytch, proprietor of West ‘ Co. an independently owned jewelry store in Webster, NY is changing the way customers see his business. Nytch had observed that independently owned stores are often regarded by consumers as service centers…

Article
Hart Jewelers Drive for Growth

Hart Jewelers in Grants Pass, OR has been a family owned store for over 50 years. Owner Tom Hart proclaims, “Our customer is the most important person in our store” and thats clearly apparent in the way the staff interacts with clients, sells…

Article
Practical Approach to CAD/CAM

Once more the realm of engineers and number-crunchers, CAD over the years has become more user-friendly and artisan-intuitive. Similarly, small-shop, multi-axis CAM systems allow more jewelers to experience the technologys potential…

Article
CAD/CAM: Choosing Desktop Mills

CAD/CAM technology is one of the biggest advances in the history of jewelry making. But how can we use this technology to maximize profits? After learning to design using 2-D or 3-D CAD software, its a matter of selecting the right production…

Article
Revising Milled CAD/CAM Models

I have great respect for the capabilities of CAD/CAM technology, and Ive seen some absolutely amazing pieces generated by it. Ive also seen some pieces that miss the mark; they need some simple revisions to make them easier to produce and aesthetically…

Article
Superfit’s Hinge and Latch System

Getting a superior fit on your next custom ring order could be just a few mouse clicks away. Superfit Inc., the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer known for its tailor-fit shanks, recently launched Digital Installations,…

Article
CAD/CAM Impact on Jewellery Fabrication

This paper looks at the impact computer technology, specifically CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture), has had on jewelry fabrication during the 20th century. This is a topic not covered in the existing course outline,…

Article
CAD/CAM: Jewelry Industry Benefits

CAD/CAM is a term that describes the two-part process of designing three-dimensional objects on a computer (CAD) and manufacturing them with a computerized machine (CAM). For many years this technology has been essential in making products…

Article
CAD Craft In Ron Litolff’s Ring

To create a new ring to showcase the beauty of a customer’s sentimental diamonds, Knoxville, Tennesseebased jeweler Ron Litolff of Gemstone Designs blended old-world craftsmanship with 21st-century technology. Hand-engraved finish…

Article
Modified CAD Design

What do you do when you realize your virtual inventory is virtually impossible to manufacture? With so many jewelry designers turning to CAD to realize their visions, such predicaments are becoming more and more common. Those thin edges,…

Article
Retracing Steps to Solve Casting Problems

A design riddled with undercuts and sharp little details just screams casting nightmare the moment the CAD file shows up. But sometimes even the most straightforward looking designs can cause real headaches for the caster. Take for example…

Article
CAD Modeling Prong Settings

If you’re designing jewelry using CAD, understanding how the piece will be cast and then set and finished at the bench can mean the difference between failure and success. When modeling prong settings, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure…

Article
Ryan Roberts’ First CAD Design

When all sides of a dangle earring are beautiful, choosing the side to face front can be problematic. Ryan Roberts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, found a solution: A tiny ball hinge set into the pearl at the top of the earring that enables it to slowly…

Article
Low-Cost Rapid Prototype Systems

Five years ago, if you wanted to buy an additive manufacturing machine to grow rapid prototype (RP) models in your shop, you had to be prepared to shell out close to $50,000. Today, due to technological advances in Digital Light Processing (DLP)…

Video
Michael’s Designs & ArtCAM

Michael Buckley from Michael’s Designs describes himself as a jeweller who has come from a traditional hand crafted approach to making jewellery where he owned a small shop to now being at the forefront of the jewellery industry. He…

Video
Discover the Benefits of CAD/CAM

CAD/CAM is a term that describes the two-part process of designing three-dimensional objects on a computer (CAD) and manufacturing them with a computerized machine (CAM). For many years this technology has been essential in making products…

Video
Trellis 4-prong head

In this video I go over the designing of a 4 prong trellis type head using Matrix software.

Video
Graffiti Style Pendant

Handstyle Grafitti Sterling Silver Pendant cut n spray is for a stencil battle prize over at cutnspray.com You can join in and get the chance to win this and quite a few other prizes,your almost guaranteed to win something, just for entering.…

Video
Making a Silver Punk Rock nameplate

I could find a Punk Rock font,so I designed my own using Sex Pistol gig posters. Here’s the result. I use a computer engraver to mark the letters. I have filmed most of the process,which i will upload and improve on.

Video
Eternity Band with Matrix@

Using a builder tool we will make an eternity band. Then, we will alter it so the stones don’t go all the way around.

Video
Matrix@4 prong gallery head

Creating a 4 prong gallery head using Matrix@ software. Easy import of stone and head builder technology to complete setting in a flash!…

Video
Four Prong Gallery Head

A simple 4 prong gallery head made using Rhinoceros@ by McNeel and Associates and presented by www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com…

Video
123WaxRing movie shows an easy way to create jewelry wax mod

Jewelers use wax models to cast rings and other jewelry. CNC machining is a great way to create such wax model based on a design in a 3D CAD system. The 123WaxRing system makes it very easy for any jeweler without CNC knowhow to create such wax model…

Video
Custom Necklace part 4

The building of a custom 10 k. yellow gold necklace,, artcam jewelsmith, modelmaster cnc, casting , burnout and stuff like that,,…

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