Jewelry Design Software

Jewelry Designers create original, sculptural pieces of jewelry for commercial or custom sale. They often begin with a customer’s description of an idea and translate it into a rendering. In the past, this involved a counted sketch or painting, but today a jeweler is as likely to use a CAD program.

The right modeling software for the job depends on the style of jewelry and its intended uses. Solid or surface modelers like Rhinoceros and SolidWorks excel at geometric shapes and tight, controlled surfaces, and let the user numerically define all feature dimensions. Polygonal or mesh modelers, however, are the better choice for organic designs involving natural ornamentation such as flowers, reliefs, portraits, and animals, and streamline the workflow to organic 3D modeling with intuitive sculpting tools that allow the user to manipulate geometry directly.

Sculpting programs such as ZBrush are free and offer the most control over details such as bevels, pinches, creases, and roundovers, and can even create seamless, sculpted patterns on curved surfaces. They are best suited for artistic models such as those in the field of fine jewelry, but also have an advantage over more utilitarian CAD environments because they allow the user to tweak modeling tools to achieve just the desired effect.

For a more commercial approach, 3D printing software such as Formlabs Grey Resin and its siblings are ideal for producing rapid prototypes of sculpted jewelry designs. These physical models enable a client try-on session, and can quickly be iterated to reach the point where the design is ‘just right’. This allows the jeweler to deliver a better product and increase customer satisfaction, while enabling a faster turnaround between production and shipment of the final product.

Some jewelry designers work on a freelance basis, while others have an established relationship with a metalsmith or a local gem dealer who can provide them with raw materials for prototyping and manufacturing. Many of these designers have a strong background in traditional jewelry making, but still need to be able to translate their designs into the digital domain. Regardless of how they do so, most jewelry designers are self-motivated and have a strong sense of responsibility for the integrity of their creations. They often live by a self-motivated credo such as Scott Kay’s “Never Compromise” and dedicate themselves to the pursuit of perfection in their creations. This steadfast commitment to quality and craftsmanship is reflected in the beauty of every piece of jewelry they produce. They have a passion for creating unique and innovative fine jewelry, and educate customers to help them make informed decisions about precious metals, bridal, fashion, and market trends. They also participate in a wide range of industry events to promote their business and connect with their customers.