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Custom Jewelry Design Frequently Asked Questions
For years custom designed jewelry has been created using old world techniques dating as far back as the 1800's. Until recently, almost all-custom designed jewelry was created using these methods. The introduction of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) has changed all that and in it's wake ushered in a whole new universe of possibilities. Designs that were never thought possible can be made to the highest quality standards.
Before learning about the benefits of 3D-CAD you'll need to know more about the custom jewelry design process. Most jewelry is made using a method called lost wax casting. A skilled artisan/jeweler hand carves a jewelry prototype out of jewelers wax using small scalpels and knives. This wax prototype also known as a "model" is placed in a flask and plaster called "investment" is poured all around the model. Once the investment hardens an exact impression of the model is formed inside of the flask. The wax model is burned out of the flask leaving a cavity of the jewelry design.
Next the molten metal is injected in the flask mold using vacuum or centrifugal casting. When the metal cools and hardens the investment is broken away revealing the un-finished jewelry casting. This casting is filed, polished and prepped for assembly, which may include setting the gemstones or welding other precious metal parts to the casting.
The process of hand carving the wax prototype has always been the accepted process for creating custom jewelry. The problem with this process is that the human hand can't be as precise as a computer-aided machine when carving the model. Precision equates to more design possibilities and much higher quality jewelry production. In the end you'll have a product that looks crisper and won't be prone to stone loss or breakage.
Computer Aided Design is a sophisticated modeling process using advanced software to plot coordinates for mechanical drawings. These drawings can be exported to various types of prototyping machines called CNC mills or growing machines. CNC mills cut-away material from a block of wax to make the jewelry model. The growing machines layer material from side to side much like a printer to build the model. The precision of these models exceeds what any human could do while hand carving the jewelry model. Design possibilities become limitless because the 3D-CAD software enables the designer to create parts and design elements that aren't possible using outmoded tools and methods.
Another benefit of 3D-CAD jewelry design is the ability to see a computer rendering before the final completion of the jewelry. In old methods the jeweler would create crude counter sketches of your concept and the rest would be left to your imagination. Now the designs that the jeweler creates in 3D-CAD can be rendered to photo-realistic images for you to view before making your final decisions.
We invite you to share your ideas with us. We are happy to provide a quote for the creation of your dream jewelry, whether it is an elegant custom engagement ring or a fine piece of custom men's jewelry Use our Custom Jewelry Design Quote page to provide the details and your contact information.We will reply within 24-48 hours.