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CAD - Computer Aided Design is the digital process used to produce simple or complex components, often in 3D, for virtually anything that requires manufacturing. It could be an item of jewellery, a ring perhaps, individual car components or the car body itself, even buildings and whole shopping centres are now designed by architects using CAD.

Typically a jewellery designer would start with a sketch or simply an idea, and, using a host of tools in a CAD package such as Rhino or Gemvision software, create accurate designs ready for manufacture or rendering to near photographic quality.

3D modelling designs can then be converted or flattened to 2D representations to drive laser, plasma and waterjet cutting machines.

More and more jewellers are using CAD packages as a sales tool by taking sketches from potential customers and converting them to full 3D animated representations. The photo realistic qualities of the images can be remarkable and can go a long way to clinching a sale by showing what the finished item will look like.

Apart from its use as a sales tool, the 3D model can be sent to rapid prototyping equipment to be produced as a wax model ready for casting.

 

CAM - Computer Aided Manufacture is a system of using computer technology to assist manufacturing processes of the components previously designed in CAD. As you would expect, the machine is equipped with a computer interface for accepting the CAD designs and converting to machine language or code. Due to many manufacturing processes in a CAM system being computer controlled, a higher degree of precision and complexity can be achieved that is not possible with human intervention.

Repetitive tasks involved in the manufacturing process are delegated to machines using the CAM system, this allows workers involved to concentrate on design, quality control and productivity.

Examples of machines using CAM are lathes and machining centres (milling machines), rapid prototyping machines, laser engravers and markers, polishing and grinding machines.

Computer Aided Modelling Devices (CAMOD) are machines that build high quality 3D forms from CAD designs using Ultra Violet light reactive resins. The models produced are suitable for direct investment casting into any metal or moulding for multiple production.

Check out this video of how the polishing of rings can be automated using CAM.

BUKO Robot polishing machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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