CAD/CAM in Jewelry
With the advent of technology, many jewelry processes which were difficult and time-consuming earlier have now become quite fast and easy. One such process which has quickened the jewelry-making time is CAD/CAM. CAD means Computer-Aided Design and CAM is Computer-Aided Manufacturing.
CAD is used to design jewelry prototypes in 3D with computer software. There are various types of software used for CAD such as Matrix, Rhino, ArtCam, RhinoGold, and Solidworks. A 3D model allows you to rotate or manipulate it from any angle such as the top, sides, and inside. CAD software helps in altering the design with less effort. One can even estimate the weight of the final jewelry piece from the CAD Weight even before it is actually manufactured.
Once the CAD design has been made as per the designer’s vision, it is saved in a .STL or .3DM file. This also enables the creation of digital renders of the model which look very similar to the real-life model.
CAM is the immediate step after CAD. The CAM system works by software that defines the actions and processes of a machine directly. The CAM software translates the designs into detailed instructions that drive the automated tools/machines. This allows the designers to submit designs and specifications directly to machines instead of programming machines manually.
Typically, a designer will use the CAD software on their computer to create a 3D design of the jewelry. The software talks to the CAM to set up the process to produce the physical version of the jewelry automatically. CAM machines can produce thousands of identical models automatically, thus reducing the time it takes to produce.
The advantages of CAD/CAM are:
- It allows to create complex designs
- Especially helpful when you need to create mirror copies, such as earrings
- A design can be altered many times to create variations. When you have to work on a theme-based project, this becomes faster and more useful to include the design element to be repeated in other styles.
- Scaling up and down of the model is possible and faster in CAD, and thus many variations of the same design are made possible to achieve in less time.
- Maintaining an inventory of designs is easier with CAD Files
- CAD Images are 3D designs, and thus helpful in sales and marketing as the customer gets a more realistic feel of the product than a 2D sketch.
- It is possible to have realistic renders of the CAD’s made with the help of various software, thereby eliminating the need to create the actual product to show to customers
The CAD/CAM is very advantageous in jewelry making as it brings together creativity and production to make an aesthetic and technically high-quality end product.