Barb and the Ugly CAD
CAD = Computer Aided Design
Barb called me when she got the email and said, “I know you warned me that my ring CAD image would not be pretty, but I’m not sure we should go forward.”
Barb felt the prongs were too long and wanted to see how the hand engraving would look and it just looked blocky and kind of ugly. That was not how she wanted her ring to look.
“My brother is an architect, so I’ve seen CADs and this just isn’t the ring we discussed.”
I realized that I’d need to do a better job of preparing people for the type of ring CAD images I use in custom jewelry design. And I’d have to put out this fire fast or I wouldn’t be able to make Barb’s beautiful diamond ring.
Illustrative CADs vs. Utilitarian CADs
CADs that attempt to show the finished piece are more like illustrations. They show detail, color and are representative of what your ring will look like when finished.
In other words they show the pretty. They sell you on that design.
A simple utilitarian CAD shows the shape of the wax that will be created in the 3D model wax prototype.
An illustrative CAD image takes more time to create and therefore is more costly. Expect to pay more for your design if you wish to have a beautiful illustrative CAD image of it.
The Utilitarian CAD – What I Use
A utilitarian CAD has the depths, thickness and correct measurements of your design with no details other than those necessary for the creation of the wax model for casting your rings.
If you’d like to know more about CADs read my post : CAD and CAM, a Jeweler’s Workshop on Your Computer Screen.
Why Parts of Your CAD Look Blocky
Why are the prongs so huge and blocky? The most challenging parts of a design to cast successfully are the narrow and small parts.
Prongs are small and narrow. They are the most challenging part to cast correctly.
When we create ring CAD prongs we make the wax extra thick and extra long to give your design the best chance to cast up successfully.
Your design may look a bit alarming and unfinished in CAD. Once we’ve successfully cast your design we’ll make our alternations. We’ll file those prongs shorter, polish and refine them into the tapered, elegant and graceful prongs we’ve envisioned.
If the prongs don’t cast successfully, any post-casting repair wouldn’t have the integrity of cast together metal. We want you to have a strong and beautiful piece of jewelry. That’s why we do it this way.
How Do You Know it’ll Come Out Nice?
Look at other designs your jeweler has created to see what the finished details will probably look like.
Details that Come Later
If your ring will have hand engraving on it, that will be done after casting. So if you’re looking at a dull as dirt, boring ring CAD, fear not. Your finished ring will dazzle you.
What About Barb?
I explained about the different CADs that are used. And showed her before and after pictures of other projects I’d done. She said “go ahead.” And when it was all done she said, “It’s what I’ve dreamed of. I just love it!”
I decided to write this blog with her story. And to help my future clients who may freak out when they see their CADs.
Your CAD-Happy Jewelry Designer,