JEWELLERY BY DESIGN
Modern technology offers precision, perfection and creative innovation in jewellery design.
The advancement of design technology is transforming the jewellery industry.
Where ‘hand-made’ was once considered the ultimate in personalised jewellery design, the availability of engineering-based CAD technology now means that custom-made can be the most effective process in terms of producing exquisite, precision pieces in the most timely and cost effective way. The difference and (sometimes) confusion lies in the interpretation of ‘custom-made’.
Prior to the availability of this technology, jewellers would hand-make pieces that were considered to be of the highest quality. The reality is that hand-made pieces can take much longer to craft, particularly if the design is intricate. Precision and ‘perfection’ can be achieved when hand making items. It is just more difficult, more time consuming and a more resource heavy process to get a precise result. All of those factors can make it a less cost effective way to create a piece of jewellery.
With the introduction of CAD technology, jewellers can now design a piece digitally in-store and the customer can view the 3D image before it is cast.
The casting process ensures the metal is crafted using exact temperatures and mechanics to produce the highest quality, precision piece. Once the casting process is complete, jewellers proceed with the final process of hand-setting the diamonds, stones and other features of the design. This process ensures there is no ‘surprise element’.
Unlike selecting from in-store collections, there is an element of the unknown when it comes to creating your own design. This technology and process gives customers peace of mind in that they can see the piece in 3D before it goes to casting.
Additionally, if they are still wanting another level of reassurance, the piece can first be 3D printed in plastic for the customer to view before it is cast in metal. The high-end exclusive jewellery brands all use casting in their manufacturing process because it ensures that they can provide precision and perfection to their customers without compromising their high quality standards. This is exactly what independent jewellers are doing, only on a smaller scale and more personal level.
With the prevalence of Pinterest, Instagram and other similar applications out there, we are seeing an increase in requests for more intricate designs.
These designs, if handmade, would often be out of most people’s modest budgets. However, by utilising Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), the time involved can often be reduced significantly and this translates into a lower cost than if the piece was created by hand – it can also help reduce the human error element.
Jewellers will meet with the customer and sketch out their piece before designing it using the 3D CAD technology. This process gives the customer the opportunity to have their own creative input, to see the piece in 3D before it is created and to make alterations until they are satisfied with the design.
It is an exciting and rewarding process and customers are satisfied to know that their piece has been custom-designed, according to their personal specifications.