Computer-Aided 3D Jewelry Design (CAD) by Qaife

At Qaife jewelry our passion is creating designs which are perfect all around and in order to achieve that we rely on our extensive years of jewelry manufacturing experience and expertise. When we first got into making jewelry carving wax by hand was pretty much the only way to create a model of the desired piece. Technology has evolved a lot since and jewelry manufacturing has changed substantially from drawing by hand then carving out of wax to designing a 3D model on a computer and printing it minutes later.

What is a 3D model and how is it related to Computer-Aided Design (CAD)?

Computer-aided design is the use of a specialized and sophisticated computer software in order to create a virtual model of a physical jewelry product or concept of a product. CAD helps to reduce possible errors and improve final quality by allowing to view, analyze and optimize product design prior to physically manufacturing it. 3D model is the output of a CAD process usually in the form of a computer file having a possible extension such as .3dm, .stl, .obj, .step, and many others. The extension of the file depends on the software used and the intended purpose of the design such as the model will be used for printing, machining, or other manufacturing operations.

Now that we know what a 3D model is. How does a 3D model helps to manufacture jewelry?

Whether you want to to surprise your loved one with something that is truly unique and one of a kind or you are a jewelry store owner who wants to launch their own product line first you need an idea. That idea is usually expressed in the form of an image of another similar product with some notes which explain how you would differ it if you manufactured it, or a rough sketch on a piece of paper or a series of precise sketches which describe your idea in detail. Any of those is a prerequisite to begin your jewelry creation process. Once you settled on the idea you should provide us as much details as possible as all of those help our designers digitize your idea and make the process as efficient as possible. The beauty of 3D is once the model is complete we can create renders (lifelike computer generated images) of the product, as well as high resolution video(s) and finally print the product to be able to physically inspect it. All of those allow you and us to see the product as it if was already existing and either make improvements and modifications or approve for further manufacturing.

A little more on: What is 3D rendering?

In the previous section we lightly touched what 3D render is, but renders are important and it is worth to dive a little deeper into the subject for a better understanding. A render is a virtual yet lifelike computer generated representation of the product in the form of an image or many images from various angels and even videos. Some modern websites rely heavily on renders and don't even have real product images but instead use computer generated images. Worth noting that many people can't tell a rendered image from a photograph, but don't sell yourself short, being well versed in the subject I myself sometimes spend a good amount of time trying to figure out whether the image is a photograph or a render. Technology just got that good!

How Much Does a 3D Design Cost?

There is no one set price for a 3D design, but like any service it is not cheap. It takes years to become a 3D designer and 3D software for designers is extremely expensive. Combine the previous two points with the requirement of a very powerful computer which is needed to run that software the high prices are usually justified. Normal range of a 3D jewelry CAD design is usually somewhere between $60 for simple designs to about $500 for the more complex jewelry pieces. There are some designs that could easily cost in the thousands and those would be something like a detailed portrait of a human, an animal, or cars.

We have a 3D design, time to CAM! Short on What is 3D Computer-Aided Manufacturing?

Once your idea is finally 3D drawn and you've seen the renders and have approved the product to be manufactured it is then either printed or milled. Both of the processes use Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) where awesome advanced machines create the physical product. Although it is technologically possible to create the product directly from a precious metals material such as gold or silver, jewelry is rarely manufactured this way due to the enormous expense of such machines and their limitations. Jewelry is printed or milled out of a special wax which can be used for casting in the next process. Computer-aided manufacturing and casting are both broad and complex topics which are covered in detail in our separate articles. Proceed to our Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) article by clicking this link or if you wish to read on precious metals casting click here.

At Qaife we are happy to provide you with the following custom jewelry services:

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