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Articles from CAD / CAM EQUIPMENT (103 Articles), CAD / CAM SERVICES (65 Articles)

Interview with CAD Jewelery School's Rik Juod


When was this introduced to Australia?
RhinoGold has been available in Australia for around five years. RhinoGold 4.0 was released in early 2013.

What are the benefits to users?
Apart from the obvious benefits of CAD technology in areas of precision, symmetry, dimensional accuracy - CAD enables jewellers to explore multiple design variations. It can be used in different aspects of a jewellery business: from the sales process – to accurately produce quotes and help customers visualise designs – to the production of the finished piece.

Strengths and unique selling points?
The RhinoGold 4.0 software (which is specifically for jewellery design) is based on Rhino 5.0 (a 3D modelling software package with a wider variety of applications), and is a mature, “best-of-breed” CAD program with more than 300,000 users. RhinoGold incorporates the use of “gumballs”, which can be pushed or pulled by the user to easily change design elements such as prong length and diameter.

This makes it very intuitive and perfect for first-time CAD users. In addition to the typical jewellery tools like the prong, bezel, channel and head studio. The software includes Clayoo for creating organic designs like scroll-work, and RhinoEmboss for creating reliefs and engravings from B&W clip-art, logos, family crests and more.

The software also has its own integrated rendering studio which can be used to create high-quality, photorealistic images of your jewellery designs within a matter of minutes, before the piece is actually made.

RhinoGold Render Studio is integrated with Brazil Render, but can also be used with third-party rendering plug-ins such as KeyShot, V-Ray, Flamingo, Maxwell and Hypershot. RhinoGold users can also share experiences, and ask questions about RhinoGold on the free public forum: www.myrhinogold.com

How is it cost effective?
RhinoGold offers the same functionality as many of its competitors at half to one-third of the software cost, and its easy-to-use interface is ideal for first-time users of CAD.

Is there a local training resource and local technical support?
We offer a two-day beginner training program in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. This covers most of the RhinoGold functions – as well as some of the more advanced commands – and includes tutorials and exercises.

Earlier this year we released an online training program that covers the typical designs that jewellers make on a day-to-day basis, and we also provide support for RhinoGold via phone and email.

How long until users can expect to see a return on investment (ROI)?
Users can begin seeing a return on investment within weeks of completing some initial training.

Are there ongoing costs or service fees?
In terms of software costs, all RhinoGold service releases are provided free of charge. Every 18 months or so, there is a major release – for example, from v3.0 to v4.0; this is an optional, chargeable upgrade.

Is it capable of being upgraded via plug-ins should the needs change?
Most definitely. In areas like rendering, users can choose what rendering software they would like to use.

What bureaus support this program?
RhinoGold generates industry standard STL files for printing that are supported by all 3D printing service bureaus. The generic document file format is Rhino.3DM which most, if not all, service bureaus support.

Is there a demo version or trial period so users can test for themselves?
Users can download a 30-day trial from our website, and can access free training videos or enrol in our online training to get the most out of it. The trial can also be extended if more time is needed.

Is there a jewellery ‘style’ best suited to make with your product?
RhinoGold enables jewellers to produce engagement rings and typical trade designs. Clayoo, which is included with RhinoGold, allows for the creation of more organic designs.

What is the next technological step?
Outside of making software even easier to use, there are huge changes coming in the materials side of the industry. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is a type of additive manufacturing technology that allows direct printing in metal by melting layers of metal powder by laser to form a solid object. Currently 18-carat gold, sterling silver and titanium powder alloys are available, and other precious metal powders are being developed.

Why should jewellery retailers consider using CAD/CAM?
Retailers should use all mediums available to help customers visualise their jewellery. If a customer can’t visualise the retailer’s design, then they will probably not buy from them – it’s that simple! Providing several renderings of a design can help customers to gain trust and confidence in a jeweller.

These renderings do not necessarily need to be photorealistic images, but they need to convey the “feeling” or “emotion” of a design, and are a great way to create a point of difference and help maintain a relationship with the customer even after they have left the shop.RhinoGold can also provide accurate gem and metal information from your design, allowing sales staff to quickly and easily prepare accurate quotations for customers.

How has CAD/CAM changed the industry?
CAD has only been accepted by Australian jewellers within the last couple of years, but I think that many retailers now see how CAD can be used as a tool to help the sales process and subsequently produce an accurate piece which can be set and hand-finished by a bench jeweller.

How is CAD/CAM likely to further evolve?
CAD software can create detail accurate to one micron, but we manufacture the physical design using the “lost” wax casting process that originated around 3,500 BC.

As previously mentioned, SLM technology now exists that directly prints in certain metals, and that is able to produce detail down to 30 microns. This is used commercially to produce heart valves with tiny chainmail-like mesh, which is not possible with metal casting.

The price of Digital Light Projection-based 3D printers drops every year and are now within an affordable range for small jewellery businesses that are only looking to print five to six designs per week. Many resin manufacturers are also developing castable resins for use in third-party printers, so the industry is moving away from proprietary resins which, in turn, is lowering the cost of consumables.

When was this introduced to Australia?

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