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CAD/CAM in 2016: CAD Jewelry School



When was this introduced to Australia?
RhinoGold has been available in Australia for around five years. RhinoGold 5.7 was released in early 2016.

What advancements have been added in the past two years?
RhinoGold now integrates Arion Render Studio to produce stunning 3D renderings and an animation studio. However, the most anticipated feature is probably the addition of the Elements library, which includes completed ring, pendant and earring designs along with components such as floral embellishments. This increases the productivity of first-time users as they can browse through a library of existing designs.

What are the benefits to users?
Apart from the obvious benefits of CAD technology in areas of precision, symmetry and 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) through to the production of the finished piece.

Strengths and unique selling points?
The RhinoGold 5.7 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, CAD program with more than 300,000 users. RhinoGold incorporates the use of ‘gumballs’ that 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, the software includes Clayoo for creating organic designs like scroll-work, and RhinoEmboss for creating reliefs and engravings. The software also has its own integrated rendering studio for creating high-quality, photorealistic images.

How is it cost effective?
RhinoGold offers the same functionality as many of its competitors at about half of the cost.

Is there a local training resource and local technical support?
We offer a two-day beginner training program, covering most of the RhinoGold functions as well as some of the more advanced commands. We also provide an intermediate course, online video training program, and phone and email support.

What is the typical learning curve for new users?
I’m not sure if a typical learning curve exists. We recommend users complete the beginner training course in order to fast track learning. Those who put in effort to use the software during business, say by designing three to four pieces per week, will obviously progress faster than a jeweller that doesn’t.

How long until users can expect to see a ROI?
Users can begin seeing a ROI 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. A major release – for example, V5.0 to V6.0 – is made every 18 months or so. This is an optional, chargeable upgrade.

Does the software support 3D printers?
The software supports a number of 3D printers, including the Solus 3D printer of which we are the local distributor. The Solus 3D printer can use several castable resins.

Does the printer hardware allow non-OEM resin to be used?
Yes, unlike many of its competitors, one of the great things about the Solus 3D printer is that it supports a variety of non-OEM resins. Users have a choice of several castable and non-castable resins from suppliers such as Spot-A, MakeSolid and B9Creator.

Is the software capable of being upgraded via plug-ins should the user’s 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 14-day trial from our website, which can be extended if more time is needed. Retailers can also access free training videos or enrol in our online training program.

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. Currently 18-carat gold, sterling silver and titanium powder alloys are available, with other precious metal powders 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 increase customer trust and confidence in the jeweller. These renderings don’t necessarily need to be photorealistic images, but they need to convey the ‘feeling’ or ‘emotion’ of a design.

How has CAD/CAM changed the industry over the past two years?
CAD has only been accepted by Australian jewellers within the last couple of years, but it appears that an increasing number of retailers view it as a helpful sales tool and a way to create accurate designs that can be set and hand-finished by a bench jeweller.



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