ArtCAM JewelSmith Incorporates 3D Printing
Laura Pei posted on September 13, 2015 |
CAM for jewelry. How else would you create a Celtic weave?

CAM software that's marketed for jewelry may seem like an odd thing, but that's precisely what Delcam is showing at the International Jewelry London exhibition (September 6–8).

The ArtCAM JewelSmith 2015 R2 allows artists to move from design to manufacturing using a single program. Image courtesy of Delcam.
The ArtCAM JewelSmith 2015 R2 allows artists to move from design to manufacturing using a single program. Image courtesy of Delcam.

CAM software that's marketed for jewelry may seem like an odd thing, but that's precisely what Delcam is showing at the International Jewelry London exhibition (September 6–8).

Delcam is launching the 2015 R2 version of its ArtCAM JewelSmith CAD/CAM software. ArtCAM JewelSmith is, according to Delcam's website, "designed for artists, not engineers." This software allows artisans to design and manufacture jewelry using a single program.

The original ArtCAM JewelSmith's strong point was relief sculpting. This strength differentiated it from competitors like RhinoGold or Gemvision's Matrix. The new version adds to this by allowing users to interactively blend reliefs and intersect design elements. Relief layers can also be grouped together to more easily create complex designs.

The biggest change in the new ArtCAM software is its ability to automatically or manually make support structures for 3D printing. Further integration of 3D printing presents an alternative to lost-wax casting for making complex models. Lost-wax casting is a technique that has existed for at least 5,000 years. It requires the artist to make a wax model that is covered in plaster to create a mold. The wax is then burned off and the plaster mold is filled with metal.

The ArtCAM JewelSmith 2015 R2 boasts a number of improvements over the old software, last updated in 2013. This includes modeling tools for engraving borders or text, and special tools for creating Celtic weaves and speeding up ring design. 

The ArtCAM JewelSmith 2015 R2 seeks to meet the industry-specific needs of jewelry designers. Image courtesy of Delcam.
The ArtCAM JewelSmith 2015 R2 seeks to meet the industry-specific needs of jewelry designers. Image courtesy of Delcam.

Vector design and precision art are also made easier by enhancements such as rulers in 3D view and snap hints in vectors. The R2 makes it easier to drag and rotate assembly elements and undo changes as well. Innovations in 3D offset strategy include outside-in and center-out spiraling, which reduces tool wear and gives better surface finish. The use of surface links reduces machining time by decreasing the number of plunge and retract moves. Machining is also made easier by faster simulations. The R2's new algorithm uses modern graphics cards to calculate multiple operations at once. 


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