BEST CAD PROGRAM?

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rhensley1989
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BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:08 pm

hi I am new to the 3D printing world, and I am looking into getting a CAD software for Jewelry. I am leaning towards RhinoGold, but am open to other software. I currently and a CAD engineer and I use Solidworks, and also Autodesk Inventor. I am not a jewelry smith, but my Wife is. We have casting equipment, and a full metal studio... however, we haven't gotten past the point of design into production. I know a 3d printer would speed this process along, and I would love the review, and or input any of you have into which program works best, and also the best value.

Programs of thought... (Matrix, RhinoGold, Jewelrycad, or another program.)

Again I work in CAD everyday of my life... so difficulty to use is not a problem for me.

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Ithril
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#2 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:17 pm

IMHO if the learning curve isn't an issue, and you are certain you can handle the advanced tools, Matrix is the leader; it's also probably one of the more expensive programs. It's what I use, and I really didn't look much further, so my opinion may be biased.

I

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akgold
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#3 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:59 pm

Ithril wrote:IMHO if the learning curve isn't an issue, and you are certain you can handle the advanced tools, Matrix is the leader; it's also probably one of the more expensive programs. It's what I use, and I really didn't look much further, so my opinion may be biased.

I


Ditto
I'm so far behind I think I'm First !!

Franz
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#4 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:14 pm

I too use matrix and love it. It has been a game changer for this bench jeweler of 30yrs+. After 4+ years still leaning. If you have knowledge of Rhinoceros that will help as it is platform for matrix. Thanks to gemvision forum, academy and support my cad skills continue to improve.

Note if you choose to you will pay a yearly fee for academy and support. New upgrade versions which seem to roll out about 2 years apart will have a fee too.

The current version m8 has some great 3d printing tools that I use before bring into B9 software.

If you need more info pm me.

Regards
Franz

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akgold
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#5 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:11 pm

Since your a cad guy already Matrix ( based on Rhino do you know how to use Rhino) is in my opinion the leader in Jewelry cad programs.
I'm so far behind I think I'm First !!

fcort
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#6 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:32 pm

I think you will also do very well with Matrix, the only other software that is similar is 3Design Software. It is about the same price and they have training. Look at what both have to offer and see what you think will be a good fit.
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Robert Howle
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#7 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 pm

Matrix user for over 10 yrs. Use it everyday and it won't take as long as u think.

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Metalcaster
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#8 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:16 am

3 design also has a designer version for around $2000.00 this can create VTX files that anyone with a full license can receive the file, print and cast it.
Let me know if interested as I have the full version and I can print and cast from the designer version.

rkundla
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#9 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:52 am

I use RhinoGold since it was significantly less expensive than Matrix. I find that it works for my current needs.

With version 6 and the fact that TDM was bought out by Stuller, the lines between Matrix and RhinoGold may blur a little, but Matrix will always be the defacto software for jewelry design.

rhensley1989
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#10 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:14 am

does anyone know where i could buy an older version possibly of matrix... I just cant afford the cost of a new program... I thought about trying to find a cracked version, but I really want to be honest with getting the software..

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Ithril
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#11 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:12 pm

When I bought Matrix, they allowed me to make 3 or 4 payments. I'm not certain that option is still available, but it was a good choice for me.

Edit to add:
Also, keep an eye out, you may find someone who is selling Matrix second hand, and that may make it more affordable for you.

I

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lobby
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#12 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:43 am

Whether you use Matrix, RhinoGold, or Cadwax, you should remember that these are all Rhino plugins. You should view your question more like this one: I want to use Rhino to design rings. Which jewelry plugin should I use?

Frankly, while I use RhinoGold every day, I instead use the Rhino interface, and just use the few RG tools I need. In other words, I use Rhino everyday, but with a few RhinoGold tools thrown in.

Eat your spinach, learn how to make jewelry in Rhino. Then figure out which plugin you want. Matrix and RG are expensive. Cadwax is only about $500; it may have enough tools for you to get your hands wet.

That said, Matrix comes with VRay for rendering; the best in the market, IMO. RhinoGold comes with Arion, and it's quite good, but not as powerful as Vray.

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lobby
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#13 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:55 am

Another point:

You are not just buying a jewelry plugin. You're buying a Rhino interface. Matrix and RhinoGold "force" you to use their interface. These interfaces are quite thoughtfully designed.

But what if you "think" differently than that interface forces you to? Matrix's interface is quite intrusive; many really like it, some don't. RG is a bit more understated.

I find using native Rhino more freeing. Like going commando under tennis shorts. :o

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Stephen Attaway
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Re: BEST CAD PROGRAM?

Post#14 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:51 am

Again I work in CAD everyday of my life... so difficulty to use is not a problem for me.


I also started jewelry design with an extensive engineering based CAD background. For jewelry design, I use a combination of SolidWorks and 3DCoat. Although my wife and I began our jewelry business in 1987, I began using SolidWorks in 1999 as a tool for jewelry design. I also have a copy of Rhino and have used 3Design and Artcam. As with anything, the key is to keep learning the details of the software. If you are proficient with SolidWorks, then start with SolidWorks.

The advantage of SolidWorks is the ability to control geometry through a parametric workflow. Swapping between SolidWorks and Rhino is straightforward when files are saved in the correct format. SolidWorks is a very mature CAD package and has an extensive user base. The disadvantage of SolidWorks is that it can be difficult to render organic or sculpted designs. A second disadvantage is it does not have a general smoothing option. A third disadvantage is that it does not have a library of parts for jewelry. Rhino has neither a library of jewelry parts or a general smoothing option.

SolidWorks' interface is based on engineering graphics (i.e. drafting). (see Engineering Graphics, Giesecks, et.al. 1975). If you were trained in drafting, then you will believe this is a natural interface for design. If you are more of a sculptor, you will likely hate this interface. Matrix and 3Design have a user interface designed specifically for jewelry.

The advantage of jewelry specific CAD tools (3Design, Matrix, etc) is their library of findings, shanks, and stone shapes. As has already been stated in this thread, too much jewelry specific user interface can limit creativity.

For sculpting and part smoothing, I use 3DCoat. My workflow is: 1) start with the geometry using SolidWorks, 2) export to .STL, 3) import into 3DCoat, 4) add sculpting, texture, and part adjustments, 5) export back to .stl for printing. 3DCoat also has a nice wrap tool to allow you to wrap a flat ring.

My wife is a gem cutter, so we often work with her unique stone designs that are not typically found in CAD libraries. We use a David 3D scanner to import scans of stones and other objects. 3DCoat works very well with imported 3D scans. SolidWorks is behind on their ability to work with scanned imports.

If budget is an issue in your selection of tools, then a combination of 3DCoat with Rhino may be your most economical path. Since you are already a SolidWorks user, you may want to consider OnShape. An advantage of OnShape is that you can work from a web browser so you do not have to have an expensive workstation. 3DCoat will require a fast computer maxed out with memory and GPU.

I also have a Wacom touch screen and a 3DConnexion space ball. While these are not essential for SolidWorks or Rhino, they are a big help with 3DCoat.

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