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    Introduction To Jewellery CAD/CAM

bullet01 Obtaining the best from CAD/CAM :

Firstly, a project should be defined that enables planning of the different steps required for making a model. Lack of planning often leads to full or partial remaking of the model, because some production problems have not been taken into account; for example, a bracelet with a poorly limbering hinge, or a clasp that does not stay closed, and other problems that every goldsmith normally meets during his everyday work.

Design requires a sequence of choices and brings two different worlds into contact - the world of creativity and the world of production.

These worlds should integrate to achieve a common objective: aesthetic and technical high quality of the end product. The problem is to get agreement between the ideas of the designer and the rules of the design. It requires overcoming distrust and language, educational and cultural differences.

It should be realized that using a computer doesn’t mean it will make the company’s production dull or banal. The opposite is true: where creative effort and care for high product quality are more vigorous, there are more possibilities to get the best results from these new technologies.

In addition, an analysis should be carried out within the company aimed at evaluating the production capability, problem areas and workforce skills. It is important that any changes in company organization and management arising from the implementation of such new technology should be fully explained. This, I believe is the biggest concern for most of the Jewellery Houses today. A big chunk of the industry has started to evaluate the man to machine cost ratio, thus enabling them to plan cost reductions and increase the effective quality of their products.

CAD/CAM systems should be run by expert operators who know the jewellery design and manufacturing process very well as well as the utilization of computers. For this reason, in recent years new types of professional are emerging, “Jewellery CAD/CAM operators”, who are able to introduce the new technologies into the factory. In this way, a company is not obliged to make large investments to put together people and machines able to carry out the production operations described above.

Another problem of CAD/CAM design stems from the fact that, in the past, the development of these systems has always been bound to the requirements of big companies. Consequently, very sophisticated softwares have been developed and put on the market. However, softwares like Jewel Smith, from DELCAM, have solutions that aim at meeting the needs of the average jewellery producer, designers as well as the larger jewellery houses, combined with effective CAM machines. As a matter of fact, there are a few local jewelers who find such solutions very handy to use and yet compatible with their design and manufacturing needs. You would be surprised to know that, there has been successfully trials, by of one of the well known jewelers from Pune, on something as traditional and ethnical as ‘Meenakari / Champleve’ using DELCAMs’ Jewel Smith CAD/CAM solution. This definitely earmarks the growth of such solutions in our markets, and gives us a clear picture of the future applications of CAD/CAM in the Jewellery industry.

Today, no product is produced, be it a car, an electrical household appliance or a piece of furniture, that has not been designed on a computer and scrutinized in its aesthetic and technical aspects. In my opinion, in the near future this will occur more commonly in the field of jewellery, to satisfy the quality standards the market has required for some time thus making CAD/CAM an inevitable technology for the ‘Jewellery of Tomorrow.

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