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Custom Ring: CAD vs. Handcrafted

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by halfcarat, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. halfcarat
    Rough_Rock

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    by halfcarat » Feb 17, 2005
    Hello,

    I''m on the verge of having a custom E-Ring made per a drawing I did. So far it seems like there are two schools of custom ring makers. Those that will draw the ring up in CAD and then convert over a CNC machine to make a wax model. Then there are those that will hand carve the wax model. I''d like to hear from people that have had a custom ring made from either of these methods and what their thoughts are.

    My thoughts thus far are that the handcrafted method will probably "flow" a lot better and have a more personal feel. It will however probably take longer, be more expensive, and won''t be as tunable. With the CAD it would be easy to go through many iterations before pulling the trigger but the ring might have too much of a mechanical feel.

    I welcome any thoughts on this.

    P
     
    


    


  2. Hest88
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Hest88 » Feb 17, 2005
    I''d be more concerned with how handcrafted the *ring* would be as opposed to the wax. I think the finer details that will really make the ring would come after the casting process.
     
  3. tarssarb
    Rough_Rock

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    by tarssarb » Jan 28, 2006
    My impression is all rings come out looking dull from the wax and need handwork. I think the next question is if they do the handwork under magnification or by sight.
     
  4. strmrdr
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by strmrdr » Jan 28, 2006
    yep, well said.
     
    


    


  5. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by valeria101 » Jan 29, 2006
    If a piece would involve different ways of doing things... you may never find out. I doubt any shop hat does CAD/CAM doesn't allow for manual adjustment of the shapes before casting. Etc.

    As far as I know, there is some ontologic rift between casting and fabrication - but that is a different story, and... doesn't the result matter more than the way it has been achieved? [​IMG]


    My 2c

    You may find This Thread interesting. [​IMG]
     
  6. princessv
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by princessv » Jan 29, 2006
    I''m in the process of getting a custom ring made and from what I understand rings made by the CAD/CNC method have to be ''hand crafted'' after it has been casted. Really it depends on what your ring looks like. For example with minute details like micropave, it is IMHO that it should be done by the CAD/CNC machine in order to prevent future problems such as the pave falling out. Many times, if the entire ring is crafted by hand, the jeweler will have to start out with a set amount of metal and work with the leftover metal from there and that might lead to pave falling out in the future if there is not enough metal to begin with.

    The CAD/CNC method is supposed to be very precise and provides the bench jeweler with less room for error. However, apparently there are limitations with the CAD/CNC method. For example, the computer software used for the CAD images will only be able to make the ring from 2 angles. One from bottom up and the other from a slant sort of 45 degrees. I''m not sure if that applies to all the computer software for CADs but I know that it applies with Quest. So regardless, there will be always some sort of manual tweaking. It will always be manual with them when it comes to the nice polish and finish you see on the completed ring.

    HTH [​IMG]
     
  7. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by valeria101 » Jan 29, 2006
    Sounds like the word of someone who does CAD work allot better than hand setting for pave - and is more than happy to have the right tools at hand for getting rid of a pesky technical pitfall. Good for them. [​IMG]

    I''d bet there are others to deal with...

    When it comes to covering simple surfaces with fields of hundreds of tightly set diamonds, the high-tech tool kit seems way better and faster than anything. I am not sure if this still holds for 3D shapes and various sizes of diamonds set in the same setting (thinking of Cartier''s diamond paved panthers and a couple of the paved rings around here too).


    It would be quite a thrill to have the technical intricacies behind these choices laid out, but what to do with such info? From the little I know, it sounds like these are difficult for jewelry makers too and not reasonably practical to make a point of consumer information about. Too bad - it might have been fun (for me, and lots of hard PR work on the other side). [​IMG] The jewelry on display speaks quite clearly of what the limits of each shop are, regardless of how they make them.
     
  8. Hansel
    Rough_Rock

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    by Hansel » Jan 29, 2006
    Personally, I think machinists can achieve the same flow and organic shapes by way of CNC(and the other equipement at there disposal) as opposed handscuplted, but that's just my opinion based on what I have asked them to do in my own work.


    PS. If you have questions about AutoCad or other CAD software, I might be able to answer them. I know several machinists if you would like me to ask them any questions as well.
     
  9. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by denverappraiser » Jan 29, 2006
    CAD is a perfectly reasonably way to produce a wax model and a good wax model is often an important step in producing a quality piece of jewelry. It's far from the only step and in most cases I wouldn't even describe it as the most important but there's no doubt that a good first step towards ending up right is to start out right . There are certain designs, like class rings for example, where this is clearly the best approach. There are other designs, like classical Navajo jewelry, where it's equally clear that it's a bad choice. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to CAD work.

    Advantages:
    It's easier to learn.
    It's easier to make modifications.
    It's easier to make multiple variations on a design. For example, modifying a design to fit different sizes of stones is easy with a CAD design and it's a total rework with a hand carving.
    It's possible to use virtual components that can make certain designs very easy.
    It's easier to show the customer a picture of what the final product will look like.

    Disadvantages:
    It's usually slower.
    Equipment costs can be high so the models tend to cost more.
    It's difficult to design around unusual components. For example, asymetrical stones or designs that require some fabricated components and some that are cast can be difficult to do with computer modeling.
    It's less tactile. Skilled artists have a relationship with their medium that doesn't always translate well to computer graphics.

    It's not an either/or decision. A skilled artisan will choose their techniques and tools based on the requirements of the job at hand. Not all jobs will be approached in the same way. It's not the tool selection that defines a good craftsman or a talented artist.

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  10. RockDoc
    Ideal_Rock

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    by RockDoc » Jan 29, 2006
    Neil wrote a great reply in this thread.....

    However ..... I think the ultimate consideration is "pride of workmanship".

    That also is many times best achieved by letting the person making the item to have his freedom of artisitic design and choice of the methodology of how its made.

    Rockdoc
     
    


    


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