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It is a fact that computers and advanced technology have changed the face of every industry, and a clear example of this is the tech being used in computer-assisted design, or CAD, for jewelry. Initially, there was the doubt that the pre-tech artist’s skills could be replicated by computer-assisted design. The skills of experienced model makers were ones that were assumed to be entirely unreplicable by computers. However, the one thing that was overlooked was that the tech doesn’t do the work. A computer is just a tool that makes it possible for artists to express their designs and work far better than in the past. Once beyond the initial difficulty of learning how to use CAD and integrating it into their skillset, jewelers have a spectrum of opportunity and even more of an ability to creatively create and show their designs in many different ways.
This doesn’t mean that jewelers who work at creating and refining the physical jewelry has been replaced, however. It makes it possible to create models which are then shown as 3D designs. Though modern jewelers use a mouse and keyboard instead of traditional tools to create their jewelry, it does not devalue their skills. Their work still does require artistic vision as always, along with knowing how to create jewelry and understanding the process, just as their predecessors who didn’t have the advantage of CAD jewelry design. The only thing that has changed is the shift to 3D modeling and computer-assisted designing.
While jewelry was once forged by hand, computer-assisted designs are developed by artists using modern tech that transform their thoughts into true digital art. These are then sent to mills, printers, or growing machines where they are transformed into wax or resin. These physical models then are plastered and incinerated in a furnace to harden them. The container of the empty impression of the piece is then filled with molten gold or platinum that will then be worked on by skilled bench jewelers. The finished design is then prepared for diamond setting by the jewelry polishing team that it is sent to.
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