The jewelry making design and manufacturing has quite changed with the use of technological advancements. Through a CAD or Computer-Aided Design Software and CAM or Computer-Aided Manufacturing hardware like a 3D printer, jewelry makers now have it a bit easier.
Back in the day, it would take a long time to finish a single piece of jewelry like a ring. The designer would start sketching or drawing the design of the ring and jewelers would then carve it out of wax. The wax is what they turn into a mold. Once the ring is removed from the mold, it turns to the designer piece of jewelry.
Jewelry makers would still do this up to this time, but the technological advancements just make the process simpler and quicker. Mass production is even made easier as manufacturers no longer have to go through the traditional process over and over again.
If you’ve ever wondered how these manufacturers make their personalized or customizable rings for you to get, then here’s how they use CAD and CAM.
Computer-Aided Software Used to Design Jewelries
When it comes to designing, CAD software help by letting designers digitally create their jewelry. This involves adding small details that are impossible to add through sketching. A CAD software can allow a designer to zoom in so these tiny details are made possible.
An example would be a small ring with equally tiny engravings of letters or numbers. These engravings can only be seen if you use a magnifying glass. This was probably impossible back in the day, but with the use of CAD software, it becomes simple today.
With these said, a lot of jewelry designers nowadays are well-versed in using technology. Think of how fashion and graphic designers would use photoshop to make their work more precise. The designers can even create photorealistic images of the jewelry they are designing.
There are a few devices that manufacturers use to recreate a design or the mold that they use to form a piece of jewelry. This creates less mistake for errors. Back in the day, molds have to be done again and again as some of them are disposable. So if they’re working on a pair of earrings, the other one could turn our perfect, while the other would be not so.
The use of a CAD software ensures that the device or hardware these manufacturers use produce the actual design. When it comes to the hardware, 3D printers are simply evolutionary. Molds can be easily printed by this. In fact, it could even print a piece of jewelry all by itself.
Manufacturers would use resin prototypes of the CAD model that they have. They could also print multiple of these prototypes in one go. If the first batch doesn’t turn out as what they hoped for, they can always go back to the CAD software, do some quick edits, and print again.
Aside from 3D printers, manufacturers would also use laser sintering. It is said that this will be the next big thing in the jewelry making industry. As of now, it’s still an expensive way to create jewelry so do expect that any piece made with this is still pricey out there in the market.
Laser sintering works by letting a laser melt the gold or silver and turn it into ring or pendant. What’s noticeable is that there will be no need for wax molds when a piece is made this way. The use of lasers also made carving of number or markers onto diamonds and precious gems neatly, which was something that other technologies failed to do.
Other Advancements that Changed Jewelry Making
People are now fond of multi-purpose items and jewelry can be multi-purpose too. Some manufacturers have already created rings and bracelets that can be partnered with your handheld device. These pieces could help track your steps, heart rate, and serve as a GPS tracker.
This trend surely upped the game of jewelry making, but if you want something less techie, you can still go for pieces that have other purposes too like keeping track of your mood or giving you positive energy from the environment.
While these technological advancements seem to make jewelry making easier for a lot of manufacturers, there are still people who are willing to pay more for traditionally made jewelry or hand-crafted jewelry to some.
However, these technological advancements can also make people want to pay more because of how easy it allows them to customize a necklace, a piece of ring, or a pair of earrings. Even non-jewelry designers can design their own piece too.
Source: The Merkle
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