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Moved--> Custom Ring: CAD vs. Handcrafted

Discussion in 'Show Me the Bling! (Rings,Earrings,Jewelry)' started by halfcarat, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. halfcarat
    Rough_Rock

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    by halfcarat » Feb 17, 2005
    (I think I posted this in the wrong forum last time, but got a couple good responses. Maybe more in this forum.)

    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. diamondlil
    Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondlil » Feb 17, 2005
    Hi halfcarat and welcome. [​IMG]

    I recently went through the CAD/CAM process with a local jeweler. The process of designing a ring on the computer was quite amazing. It was nice to see the changes alone the way and to see very lifelike pictures of what my rings would look like. The jeweler even had the final design pictured on a computer-generated hand to give me a good idea of proportion. I was generally pleased with that entire part of the process (except for the fact that the jeweler took far too long to get it to that point - about 4 months). However, and this is a big however, after approving the final CAD pics and moving to metal, the job fell apart. The jeweler''s workmanship was substandard, and the final product was awful. I agreed to allow him to try again and was assured the process would go "much faster" the second time. Well, once again, months passed, I approved another set of CAD pics and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited some more. Tried to get out of the deal, but the jeweler had ALL my money and refused to let me go. So I waited so more. Finally, a second set of rings was done which were marginally better than the first set.

    By this point, I was some 10 months from beginning the project and a river of tears behind me. I was emotionally traumatized over the entire process and begged to be set free. The jeweler finally agreed that he could not deliver the quality that I would be happy with. Although agreeing to refund my money, once again I waited, months, for the refund. Total elapsed time = 1 year!!!!!!!

    I don''t know where I''m going with this story other than to say that good design does not guarantee quality craftsmanship. I do believe there are many expert craftsman out there that can do a fine job using CAD or "the handcrafted method" you speak of. A skilled craftsman will be able to give you the ring of your dreams without a "mechanical feel" even using the CAD. I doubt one way is better than the other, just different.


    DiamondLil
     
  3. ICAA
    Rough_Rock

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    by ICAA » Feb 17, 2005
    That is a horrible story. I am in the process of having a custom engagement ring made in platinum right now. The company specializes in platinum work. I know my jeweller is making some profit on this particular piece but he was straight up and said the intricate design was best done by a the company specializing in platinum work because that is all they do. I was thankful that he was straight up and didn''t try to tell me they could do it easily, etc. I have seen some of their work and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. In 2-3 weeks I will have some pictures of it and I will be sure to post them.
     
  4. ICAA
    Rough_Rock

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    by ICAA » Feb 17, 2005
    As mentioned in my previous reply to Diamondlil, I am in the process of having a custom ring made. They did a CAD rendering and I saw the ring go through three iterations. After the third iteration, my jeweller mentioned that there is a certain amount of instinct that one has that cannot always be captured by a CAD design. He called it ''art''. When I thought about that, I truly believe in that statement. The problem with the CAD is that it was rather angular and I wanted smoother, more flowing lines. With that, we agreed that the individual making the ring knew what I wanted and that it was best to not keep on making iterations but get on with it since the minor points were discussed in detail. Of course, this takes some trust but having seen the work done by the individual, I do trust that the piece will turn out phenomenal. [​IMG]
     
    


    


  5. Gale
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Gale » Feb 18, 2005
    Last fall I had a platinum ring made from a crude sketch. I met with a benchman for about 15 minutes, talking about the details, and an initial wax was carved. After a short time thinking about that first wax, a second wax was requested with a few alterations. I love it. The benchman is an absolute artist. It''s exactly what I had in mind. The workmanship is excellent. This benchman/jeweller had a great reputation to begin with and came highly recommended by many people I know. This is the best custom job I have had done. I am going back sometime early next month to do it again for a pair of earrings.
     
  6. halfcarat
    Rough_Rock

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    by halfcarat » Feb 18, 2005
    Thanks for all of the stories. Seems I viewed it as more black and white but there is room for both a CAD model and then an artists touch. That is what I''ll be looking for. The problem then is, trying to get a feel from talking to the ring makers weather or not they know their stuff. Certianly recommendations from this forum are helpful in that.

    Any particular questions you''d ask the ringmaker before choosing them? So far the two I''ve talked to both seem like they know thier stuff, their example rings look great, and they both seem to think it''s no big deal. However after I drop my deposit down, how can I hold them accountable to their promises that it will be just what I want?

    thanks for all the tips thus far.

    P
     
  7. Gale
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Gale » Feb 19, 2005
    My guy offers 100% money back guarantee if you don''t like the final product. I don''t really know what other questions you might ask, but you migh ask about what happens if the size isn''t right, or what steps they will take if you are not satisfied.
     
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