Perhaps the most significant change in the jewellery industry in recent decades has been the adoption of CAD/CAM - computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.To get more news about custom jewelry manufacturers, you can visit jewelryhunt.net official website.
Once, the words ‘CounterSketch’ and ‘3D printer’ might have been met with a confused or dismissive look. Indeed, when Jeweller published its first CAD/CAM Guide in 2012, it asked the question, ‘Is CAD/CAM here to stay?’
By the time Jeweller published its 2014 Report, the “CAD/ CAM revolution” had well and truly begun, and four years later, the technology was “synonymous with jewellery design”, while 3D printers had entered the market.
The financial limitations that once confined CAD/CAM to larger companies rapidly fell away as technology evolved, and new, jewellery-specific products and programs entered the marketplace, leading jewellers of all stripes – the pure retailers, outsourced-manufacturing, and in-house manufacturing – to embrace the benefits.
Chris Botha, operations manager at Palloys – part of the Pallion Group – was a vocal early proponent of CAD/CAM.
Reflecting on the evolution of the technology, he tells Jeweller, “CAD and CAM technology has evolved from a volume production tool to a fundamental production tool in any sized jewellery business. Only a few years ago, CAD required extensive training and practice.
Botha notes that the upward trajectory of CAD/CAM has gathered pace since Jeweller’s last CAD/CAM Report, more than three years ago: “There has been a substantial increase in jewellers using CAD and CAM technology since 2018,” he explains.
“We have seen a shift in our casting cycle, from approximately 30 per cent CAD and 70 percent wax injections or customer- supplied material. Now, CAD is up to almost 45 per cent. It’s incredible to see, and to see it happening so quickly.”
Larry Sher, director Chemgold, points to the increasing number of jewellers and retailers investing in CAD software for ‘in-house’ use, explaining that Chemgold’s customers “take advantage of CAD-based libraries they can order, such as our JewelMount collection.”
To account for the increasing demand for its manufacturing services, Chemgold has significantly invested in staff training and customer service systems over the past three years.
David Gabriel, director Lenrose, says the CAD/CAM sector is expanding “exponentially almost by the month”.
“The number of jewellers that are now using CAD is massive; it’s probably easier to put a figure on those who are not using CAD – I’d say that fewer than 10 per cent of jewellers are not using it.”
He adds, “Many have jumped all the way in and are doing their own design, have purchased small resin printers and send their resins to us for casting.
“Others are doing their own CAD and then sending the files to us for printing and casting, while others simply brief us and allow our team to do the design, print and cast.