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Delcam’s ArtCAM JewelSmith helps create jewellery for the stars

Rapid calculation times speed the transition from a design in ArtCAM JewelSmith to the finished piece

Stephen Webster Ltd, founded by one of Britain’s leading designers of luxury jewellery, Stephen Webster, is internationally renowned for its chic and dramatic glam-rock jewellery, with over 200 points-of-sale worldwide and seven boutiques in London, Beverly Hills, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev, Vienna and Marbella.  Its pieces have been worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Kate Moss, Sir Elton John, Rihanna and Kate Beckinsale, to name but a few.

Edward Slater, head of the company’s CAD department, explained how the company created its jewellery – "Our designers always start with a brief as to the theme and inspiration for a particular project before they sketch out their designs.  Our Jewels Verne or Le dents de la mer collections, for example, were initially inspired by 2000 leagues below the sea.” 

Each collection consists of up to thirty or forty pieces, including earrings, rings, necklaces and larger statement pieces, such as cuffs.  The CAD team is given around four weeks from the time they receive the signed-off designs to convert all paper drawings into 3D CAD models, taking around a day for each design.  Once they have modelled the jewellery, the designer looks at the each model to make sure that it is as they envisaged and make any amendments before they import the design into Delcam’s ArtCAM JewelSmith software, to create the toolpaths for CNC milling. 

Mr. Slater initially saw ArtCAM JewelSmith at the IJL exhibition, where he was impressed by how quickly it could calculate toolpaths.  "It cuts the time down drastically,” he claimed.  "Half a day was cut down to a couple of minutes.  It is great!  When it comes to bangles, ArtCAM has been something of a revolution for us; we could have never done one before with our previous software and machinery.” 

He continued, "ArtCAM JewelSmith has a really easy work flow and is extremely simple to use with its 3D Machining Wizard.”  ArtCAM JewelSmith comes with a number of options to create the toolpaths to produce a design efficiently on a CNC machine.  The software also gives Mr. Slater’s team the opportunity to check that the block of wax is the correct size for the jewellery model, as well as to add the number, size and thickness of the supports to hold the piece in place during machining. 

Before the design is sent to the CNC machine, Mr. Slater and his team run a simulation of the toolpaths cutting the design to make sure they have chosen the correct machining strategies and cutting tool, and, if necessary, to make any amendments.  "It is interesting seeing it simulate the toolpaths because when you come to see it on the machine there are no surprises,” he commented. 

"Whatever we are working on, I know that Delcam are always there to help, giving us advice on the best tools and approach to mill a design should we need it,” he concluded.

08 July 2014

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