Jewelry produced through Computer Aided Design (CAD) does not remove traditional methods of jewelry design and manufacturing. Like carving a block of wax into a desired shape, those tried-and-true methods remain. Computers will never replace an experienced jewelry designer. However, a computer can help artisans design with more precision.
CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing) are tools to create technical drawings on a computer. CAD creates three-dimensional photo-realistic images that allow designers and clients to examine intricate designs up close from any angle. CAM uses computer software and machinery to manufacture products designed by CAD models.
At Mark Loren Designs, we use CAD/CAM to help create dimensionally accurate jewelry designs from start to finish. While our personal touch remains throughout the process, CAD adds a new creative tool.
Benefits of CAD Jewelry Design
With traditional wax carving methods to design jewelry, it’s nearly impossible to get a perfectly symmetrical model. With CAD jewelry design, we can more precisely design jewelry. In addition, CAD can create complex designs that may be difficult to complete by hand. Clients and designers can see how the design will look when it’s finished without using any materials.
During the process, if the design needs changes, modifications can be easily made on the computer. With wax carvings and drawings, changes during the design process require starting over. CAD reduces trial and error in design.
CAD also helps increase accuracy, decreasing errors, and reducing production time. Scale, proportion and relationships of elements of the design can be precisely calculated.
With a complete design, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) transforms the design into a physical prototype on a 3D printer. The prototype shows the size and how the piece will look in three dimensions. From the prototype, designers can create a mold to inject the precious metal into a casting.
Role of the Artisan
CAD is one of many tools used by a jewelry designer. Even with a computer, our artisans must also use vision, knowledge of materials, and jewelry fabrication and skill to get desired results.
CAD and CAM aid the design process, allowing three-dimensional renderings and prototypes. Use of these tools allow our artisans to apply background and technical skills to create exactly what clients want. These technical tools are similar to and can enhance the spatulas, files and wax pens used traditionally. Master craftsmen will still cast, polish, solder and weld the designs. We hand-select and skillfully seat precious gems and/or diamonds in the final design.
CAD/CAN closes the gap from our clients’ expectations and what we deliver. These tools allow us to meet or exceed expectations. Even with these tools, if our clients are not satisfied with the final product, we always remake and refine designs until they are.
We invite you to make an appointment to see our many collections and view the difference for yourself!