The Bijoux Concept Boutique in Neuchâtel
Ever since I was a child, I have always been attracted by drawing and manual work. Being a fan of jewels and precious stones, I trained in jewellery-making at Chaux-de-Fonds, in a watchmaking workshop. Sawing, filing, beating, drawing... for me, they represent the freedom of shapes...
My initial training was in mechanics and then technical drawing. My initial occupation was as a mechanical engineer working on tool machinery in the canton of Neuchâtel, the stronghold of watchmaking since the 70s.
Having been keen on drawing since childhood, I was really enthusiastic about the arrival of 3D tools. A whole world opened up to me, the desire to create shapes virtually and see them in three dimensions on the screen. At the same time, the machine industry and the watchmaking industry was also embracing this technology for manufacturing watches. both Susanne and I were more inclined towards designing jewellery pieces in 3D. At the time, my tools were intended for mechanical work, it was quite rigid. We were looking for a more creative and evolutive solution. That's when we came across 3DESIGN.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, jewellery-making is a highly technical trade, and "joaillerie" - the haute couture of jewellery-making - even more so. To secure a stone in its setting, you have to know the material and respect the dimensions...
Today, knowing your trade plus being in control of the precision of the 3D tool... is to have chance on your side! At Bijoux Concept, we play the card of complementarity with François.
Before, I used to design projects in one single piece by hand, in wax or brass (a time-consuming task), which always carried the risk of making a mistake and having to start again. Now, some elements are made by hand, others are executed in 3D, depending on their complexity and shape. First, 3D has offered me the convenience of previewing the finished jewellery item, as well as speed and precision in making the prototype or the piece itself. One of the great advantages for me has been being able to break it down into several parts and then put everything together at the end. I have been able to do more with pieces than I would have done by hand. Finally, 3D is ideal for presenting the end-customer with pictures and even a resin prototype of their future jewellery item. Customers are blown away by it! And that helps us to get a project validated.
To my mind, 3D does not replace the artisan, but supplements him or her. The final stroke of finesse by the master craftsman will always be necessary, in fact.
3DESIGN is the only parametric design software, ideal for applying any change at every design stage, unlike the Rhinoceros programme!
Also, at the time it was the only jewellery-orientated programme, and on MAC too!
As a mechanical engineer, I used to work on AutoCAD and Inventor. For jewellery design, I wanted that parameter-based aspect of mechanical design software, plus the freedom of shapes to construct, instinct, creativity. Of course, Rhino was virtually free but I wanted a professional solution. 3DESIGN met my needs in terms of budget and use. I was satisfied.
The Bijoux Concept Boutique in Neuchâtel
Here, for example, are the stages of development of one of our most recent projects: the ring in the ROSE line.
1/ Hand-drawing of the rose, in plan view. This drawing was then integrated into 3DESIGN. It is a flat view; so next we have to create the volume.
2/ The ring body was designed in 3DESIGN. It is made up of 3 interwoven bramble twigs. (Scanning of curves drawn flat and then rolled)
3/ Modelling of the rose head and its petals in 3Shaper (module available in 3Design)
4/ Random jewelling work on left shape. (Various sizes of stone)
5/ The rendering in DeepImage (module available in 3Design)
6/ Resin prototyping
7/ Casting of the parts individually (5 different objects)
8/ Work on the workbench: cleaning, adjusting, pre-polishing, stone setting, assembling, final polishing etc.
Number one, parametrics: it allows the automatic recalculation of all your operations after a modification.
Number two: the stone setting. Very powerful; let's remember that although metal is important for the jewellery-maker, the stones are even more so.
3DESIGN is more than a design software programme; it is software for jewellery-making and fine jewellery design
After 12 years of practice, I can say in all modesty that I have mastered every function, even the most advanced, and I would like to move on to the "development" stage, that is to say, be able to set all the parameters myself.
The intuitive and automatic functions helped me to get started at the beginning. Today, I no longer use the "stone
tool", the "signet tool" or the "sovereign function"; the software enables me to design everything myself. And I'd like to be able to go further with possibilities for manual parameter setting!
My advice to people starting off with 3DESIGN would be to automatically do the training. You don't buy a car without passing your driving test!
A fine example of the 3Design software in use. We are proud and delighted to have been able to contribute to the development and creativity of their users. We thank Susanne and François for their time and their spontaneity.
This interview was given on Thursday 25 August 2016, in the lounge of the Hôtel Métropole in Lyon (France).
Interview conducted by Mrs Emilie Balsamo, Team 3DESIGN, Gravotech Group, with Mrs Susanne Dändliker and Mr François Righi – Bijoux Concept - www.bijoux-concept.com (Neuchâtel, Switzerland).