Computer-aided design (CAD) has been one of the most important developments in the fast-changing jewellery industry in recent years. CAD offers jewellery designers a variety of flexible tools, opening a wide range of new creative horizons. This summer, BAJ is therefore offering a portfolio of six-week online CAD courses, taught live in our virtual classrooms on Zoom. These courses can help you get started in this exciting field or improve your existing digital design skills in the CAD software of your choice.
With beginner and intermediate programmes covering popular CAD software including 3Design, Adobe Illustrator, MatrixGold and Rhino, there’s something for everyone. Here we explore some of the main advantages of each programme to help you choose the right course for you.
If you’re used to hand drawing and would like to transfer these skills into digital design, Adobe Illustrator could be the right choice for you. This summer BAJ is proposing Adobe Illustrator courses for both beginners and intermediate users. If you’re joining us as a beginner, we’ll introduce you to the essentials, from navigation and building basic shapes to precision 2D jewellery design techniques. By the end of your course, you’ll be able to transform your scanned jewellery drawings into beautiful hand-rendered images.
If you opt for an intermediate course, we’ll help you perfect more advanced techniques that’ll really make your designs pop. Like all of our online courses, we deliver our Adobe Illustrator programmes via Zoom in small groups. This means you can get the individualised guidance and feedback you need to make real progress.
Model and render your designs with Rhino or MatrixGold
This July our programme portfolio includes beginner courses for both Rhino and MatrixGold. Both are NURBS modelling CAD programmes conceived especially for fine jewellery that will allow you to model and render your designs. Starting with an overview of the selected software’s interface, you will go on to learn fundamental 3D jewellery design techniques. These include constructing a range of rings, such as band and solitaire rings, and building stone settings.
Both courses also open the door to the exciting world of 3D-printed jewellery, as you will study how to produce objects suitable for 3D printing and casting. Rhino is a great choice if you’re looking for a lower-cost option, as you may be able download a 90-day trial of the software for free. If you’d like to try your hand at MatrixGold, you can purchase a six-month student licence.
Finally, BAJ is also offering an intermediate course in 3Design. 3Design is a powerful and versatile 3D design software allowing jewellers to quickly modify their work. Thanks to its parametric modelling tools, it’s easy to make dramatic changes to existing models. This makes it the ideal choice if you need to frequently rework designs, for personalised pieces, for example.
You’ll be able to explore 3D printing on this course too. This will help you build your confidence in using your existing knowledge of jewellery making tolerances to produce models suitable for this process. What’s more, if you sign up to study 3Design at BAJ, you may be eligible for a free student version of the software.