The advantages of making Jewellery on CAD
Technology and keeping up with it is so important in the world we live in today. For example, Jewellers have been slow in the uptake to take on new technology.
When the advantage of 3D printers and CAD Cam tech is everywhere why have independent jewellers ignored what is going on? Yes, it is lovely to see a jeweller creating something by hand but a computer and a 3D printer are just another tool. Laser welding and micro welding are tech tools which some jewellers now use, they speed up the process and make it more accurate and save both jeweller and customer money the same as a 3D printer and CAD cam software. One of our pieces does not and never can sit on a conveyor belt. They are bespoke designs, straight out of your imagination! How can they be mass produced? There is too much consideration and micro detail to mass produce anything.
3D Jewellery Design and making are being embraced by forward-thinking jewellery production companies as an alternative/additional way to design and produce jewellery. Others reject or even fear this technology. Some say it is irrelevant or the end of the jewellery making industry as they know it. Many of the large well-known London makers have declined to comment on whether or not they are using CAD technology, however, some of the largest CAD production companies boast of these same companies and clients.
It is true however, that the idea of a young tech minded graduate who has never picked up a scorper or torch, building jewellery designs for the mass market sends shivers down many a traditional jeweller's spine. They believe the industry is being threatened and consequently feel that their livelihood is at stake.
The efficiency, availability and unparalleled scope of modern CAD-CAM jewellery programming is an exciting and massively empowering prospect to an increasing number of jewellers. Skilled craftsmen with open minds and a thirst for knowledge fill the booths of the CAD-CAM sellers at all of the trade shows, while the "old-school" walk by, affectatiously shuddering and dismissing it as heresy. However, most of them want the advantages the technology brings and this is accelerating very quickly. The real point to this is that old-fashioned craftsmanship and new technologies such as we are enjoying now, are NOT mutually exclusive! When synthesizers started to proliferate, they were an enticement to the musically illiterate, but they were still keyboard instruments, only if you were already a good musician could you get the most out of these new machines. Most serious classical music fans have more than a sneaking regard for Pink Floyd. The same goes for the technologies that we are embracing. They don't murder craftsmanship, rather they unleash it, allowing your and our imaginations to truly soar.
At the BMG Jewellery workshops on the London Road in Burgess Hill, Sussex UK, there is a whole new setup. Screens now accompany the normal jeweller's benches with on-screen design in 3D. Customers can see the piece complete with all stones set on a screen as a 3D image here in our workshop as well as take in the ambient atmosphere of heat, light and metal.
They can then have the 3D image on their own mobile, tablet or desktop computer using a 3D pdf file. Once approved, a 3D print is printed using the latest liquid filled USA made high-resolution 3D printer. The customer can try this on for size, shape and style, once approved, the file is sent for output in the precious metal of choice and comes back ready to set the gemstones. Within just a few days the job is complete. All in all, it speeds up the production process cuts down costs and gives the customer a perfectly finished piece of jewellery for a lot less money than making it purely by hand.
Of course, there are still many jobs that required the skilled hand of an expert craftsman; such as melting down sentimental gold and re-mastering it to fit our modern lifestyles and tastes. Retaining the bench work for repairs and hand making is still essential for both our local loyal customers and overseas clients.
Be assured, at BMG Jewellery, it is the skilled craftsmen that now work the computers and still maintain their years of working knowledge when constructing a piece of fine jewellery on screen. Do come see for yourself - you are invited! If you live near or are in the vicinity, then please pop in. You will be delighted by traditional craftsmanship and blistering technology in concert with each other, and at the hands of craftsmen who know how to make it all sing.
Richard Soper CEO