Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Double Crossed

This is an example of what can be created with the help of computer graphics. The software is Vectric Aspire which creates everything all the way including the G code that operates the controller for the Taig CNC mill. Aspire is actually CAD/CAM in one package. It is not a professional 4D jewelry CAD/CAM, but it is a capable 3D program with a touch of 4th axis ability.

This and any CAD/CAM is not a system where "push the button" and out pops the RTR (Ready To Run) machine code occurs. There is a lot of work and decisions made in the process by the human artist. I consider it a form of creative art. The computer is just another tool.

In this example I started with a flat 2D drawing. I asked the computer to draw vector outlines around all the shapes and lines. From that point on the original drawing was turned off and no longer required. So everything else had to be designed and entered into the construction of the 3D model.

If you are interested in the software process, tour around the Vectric website and read everything in sight. They do a far better process (and free trials) of explaining the how-to than I could do here in RD's Workshop.

The software and the CNC mill require a lot of time and initial cost. So this something a newbie needs to have a lot of passion before beginning. I love hand carving as it really gets down to the manual abilities of the artist. I do a lot of hand carving. The ring shown here is totally hand carved. But I am not capable of the detail in the Celtic crosses with just hand work and my increasing physical limitations. So I do have a real passion for CAD/CAM assist.

Many if not most professional jewelers use CAD/CAM. Some use 3D printers to build the models. All it takes is desire and the investment. The pro needs every production tool they can afford.

I am no pro, but I like the demands of of the work. My goal isn't to make a living on the product. I enjoy the process and the quality of the results. My goal is not manufacturing jewelry. That is a tangible result but I really do it for mastering the hugely complex process. I enjoy the process of creating what most people never will find the time and ability to master.

For me it is about the practice not the profession. :)

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The original 2D art as borrowed as inspiration from the internet The final art as created in Vectric Aspire to be used in CAM to generate the machining code.
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Two carvings as produced using CNC control of the Taig micro-mill. This is how I added them to the sprue for lost wax casting. I made the ring totally by hand and added it to this investment casting attempt.
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100% success in the casting. Here everything has been finished to the final shine. I think the ring looks quite elegant!



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