Home » Shopping » Fashion

Choosing A Prototyping Machine For Custom Jewelry Design

Apr 14, 2008
I've been working in the jewelry business for many years and one of my passions is the creation of custom made wedding rings and engagement rings. I enjoy the diamond business and selling engagement rings like Tacori, Verragio and others like them but I really like creating jewelry that is one of a kind or hand-made. I get a charge out of allowing a customer to design their own ring and then watch the look on their faces when the ring is complete. Recent advances in rapid prototyping allow jewelry designers to create one of a kind designs to laser precision and also save them time. In the end the customer gets a better quality piece of jewelry and you have the satisfaction of knowing it came from you.

There are many different types of prototyping machines and you should know what the advantages and disadvantages of each are before buying one. In a basic sense, there are two types of machines that you can purchase. The first is a cutting machine that removes material to create your prototype. The second is a growing machine that layers or prints your model. Each technology offers benefits and each has drawbacks, this article will help you determine which machine will be best for you. With a cutting machine or a CNC mill you are going to get smoother and higher resolution models. The material used in a mill is jewelry wax which as you may know is the easiest and best material to cast with. The draw backs on CNC mills is efficiency and undercutting, let's talk about milling efficiency first. The typical engagement ring model will take about 4-8 hours to mill depending on the resolution that you choose. This can be a bit of a problem if you are trying to re-coup your investment in a jewelry mill. Of course the benefit is that the jewelry model will be very clean, easy to cast, and higher resolution. The other issue is that undercuts of complex jewelry designs can't be done using a CNC mill.

CNC technology involves the use of X, Y, Z axis and each jewelry model that you create will have coordinates within those axis. The milling process doesn't allow for the tool path to enter areas inside the gallery of prongs or under the shoulders. The coordinates may exist in your model but the mill's drill bit can't reach them. A mill is especially good for the following custom jewelry designs: signet rings, sports rings, awards rings, and wedding bands. The reason for this is because those types of jewelry don't require undercuts but do require high resolution to produce lettering and 3d relief work. Most jewelry mills will be capable of doing 50% - 60% of all the work that you need done.

The growing machines that are available use a process similar to stereo lithography while layering thermal plastic or poly resins. Under cuts are not a problem and any design that you can create can be grown. The problem with the growing process is the stepping within the jewelry models. Stepping is the movement of parts within a machine and an example would be a servo motor. You can find servo motors in just about any kind of CNC machine. Growing machines generally produce graining lines on the flat surfaces of your jewelry models. The finishing process requires that you file large amounts of metal in the casting when removing the stepping.

This can be a huge problem when casting a grown model in platinum because the metal so hard to polish, you have to remove large amounts of platinum to get rid of the stepping lines. White gold isn't as big a problem when casting using grown models because the metal is easily polished. The benefits to the growing machines are efficiency and undercutting. Some of the growing machines on the market are capable of growing 8 models per day while the CNC can do maybe 3. A growing machine is especially useful when creating custom engagement rings, custom wedding rings, and delicate or small pieces with undercuts.

A really well rounded jewelry workshop has both technologies however, not everyone can afford to purchase both machines. In the end, it's important to determine what type of jewelry designs you'll be creating the most of and then purchase the machine that can handle those jobs.
About the Author
Andy Moquin has spent 16 years in the jewelry business buying and selling over $20,000,000 in diamonds and custom jewelry. He can be reached at: custom jewelry design jewelers buffalo
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 167
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources