Can Handmade Jewelry be Created with CAD/CAM?

Can Handmade Jewelry be Created with CAD/CAM?

When it arrives to artisan jewelry, what essentially counts as “handmade?” The dilemma is not as straightforward as you may possibly think. Tom and Kay Benham unpack the definition of “handmade jewelry” in accordance to many resources. They also explore how jewellery built employing CAD and CAM approaches healthy in.

Tom and Kay led our “Ask the Experts” column for many years, and we were being so sad to eliminate Tom in 2021. We’ll keep on to share some of their most valuable tips from the pages of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist with you listed here, to continue on spreading their information. We also welcome new concerns! —Tammy Honaman, Interweave Director of Articles

Can Handmade Jewellery be Established with CAD/CAM?

Q: After examining her very creations on her advertising web site not too long ago, I requested a jewelry designer/student/vendor this: “Are your products handmade/hand fabricated?” She replied by way of e-mail that of course, certainly, all her parts have been “hand fabricated.” In the About part of her internet site, although, she describes her scientific tests at a college in the U.K., mentioning she is researching and employing CAD/CAM and that she sends her items to a stone setter.  

Graphic earlier mentioned: An artist generating a ring. Photo delivered by Tom & Kay Benham.

Is it correct for her to explain her items as hand fabricated? I am really intrigued in the appropriate terminology and utilization in the current market for my personal endeavors in the long run. I, far too, am a student of jewelry producing and want to be very straightforward and straightforward in my doings, particularly in advertising. I assume this is a extremely essential issue to have an understanding of very well. —G. Dunn, Hawaii

A: We agree with you that this topic is a very hot subject that warrants dialogue and being familiar with.

What Does “Handmade” Mean?

1st let us glimpse at handmade. In common terms, such as this definition supplied by Wikipedia, handmade jewelry is “jewelry which has been assembled and formed by hand rather than as a result of the use of machines.”  

But what can you assert as handmade if you provide your operate? For this goal, we turned to the recommendations of the U.S. Federal Trade Fee (FTC). In get to be stamped or called “handmade” in United States, the do the job should be created only by hand ability or hand steerage. [Authority: Sec. 6, 5, 38 Stat. 721, 719; 15 U.S.C. 46, 45. Source: 61 FR 27212, May 30, 1996, unless otherwise noted.] This suggests that jewelry may perhaps be made working with drills, lathes, or other equipment, but it should be guided by the human hand. This precludes the use of punch presses, CNC machinery, and casting, to name a several processes the use of which would make the jewellery not qualify as “handmade.” Outside of that, handmade jewelry can be built from any substance and with a broad wide variety of strategies.  

Similar: The Shoulders of Goldsmiths

Sad to say, lacking any “jewelry law enforcement,” the discussion around what determines what is handmade or hand fabricated is destined to go on. In the absence of any universally recognized benchmarks, there are only thoughts, and it looks that everybody included in this marketplace has his or her possess. I’m frightened we do not have a definitive reply for you, but we urge you to comply with what assistance the FTC does offer and set specifications as considerably greater than that as you wish.  

What About CAD/CAM?

As for CAD/CAM, these are two unique approaches. CAD is computer system-aided drawing or drafting. It is important to recognize that CAD systems will not design jewelry for you, they will only just take your resourceful inputs and speedily produce a graphic representation on your keep track of. It’s like a computer—it will not write your future terrific novel, it will only print out what you enter.  

We love functioning with CAD mainly because it makes it possible for us the flexibility to draw a basic simple design and style and then experiment with transforming any of the standard factors to see how the new versions glimpse. Redrawing these variants by hand could consume lots of hours, but the CAD technique assists you redraw them so promptly that you can redraw and analyze dozens of your imaginative variants in an hour. The programs also allow for you to help save them in a file for potential assessment and use. 

CAM is pc-aided production, a system whereby a specific computer system code is made use of to command a manufacturing equipment this kind of as a milling equipment or lathe to make the very same component continuously. There is no way this system can be construed as handmade or hand fabricated. So, we are often really thorough to independent and describe the variance in between CAD and CAM. CAM has a substantial part in the jewelry marketplace, but not in the handmade phase, at minimum in our humble impression. 

Associated: From 3D Printed Ceramics to 3D Printing Jewelry

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Excerpt from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist December 2017

Make Handmade Jewelry with CAD