Home >> Latest ArtCAM News >> Delcam’s ArtCAM saves time and money in the jewellery industry

This canal boat broach was created from a photograph with ArtCAM JewelSmith

While it is easy to understand the benefits that large corporations might get from computer technology like CADCAM, it is more difficult to appreciate the advantages that a small jewellery company might gain from software such as Delcam’s ArtCAM JewelSmith.  A visit to Hillary Corney, the owner of The Nunney Gallery and DesignerSilversmiths.com, should convince other jewellers of the savings in both time and money that can be achieved, as well as the improvements in quality and consistency that can result.

Admittedly, Mr. Corney is not a typical jeweller and silversmith in his relationship with computers.  His career has varied between artistic projects and advanced technology since, as a teenager in the 1970s, he undertook an evening course in silversmithing while working in a factory assembling computers.  After a Degree in Design and a diverse career using both sets of skills, he was able to combine his interests as a teacher of computer graphics and CADCAM at Southampton College of Art for eight years, before he made his latest career move into running his own company.

Like most other jewellers, Mr. Corney began by using commercial casters to manufacture his designs but soon found that this was unsatisfactory.  "The problem is that the service from commercial casters is not ideal for small companies,” he explained.  "They are often too busy with work for their larger customers, plus you can get the feeling that they don’t work as hard on the quality when they are producing smaller runs.”

The answer for Mr. Corney was to produce his own waxes with a copy of Delcam’s ArtCAM JewelSmith software and a Roland Jewela JWX-10 desktop engraving machine.  "The Delcam system has improved almost every aspect of what I was able to do,” he commented.  "The growing reputation of my work since I started with ArtCAM JewelSmith has brought in many new customers that I wouldn’t have got otherwise.   In addition to my own designs, I now offer a full CADCAM design and casting bureau for other jewellers, preparing designs and making waxes through to metal masters or the finished product for retailers.”

"The first external job I undertook with the ArtCAM JewelSmith software was a set of cufflinks,” remembered Mr. Corney.  "I had a letter back from the client saying how astonished he was with the level of detail I had achieved in the model.  Since then, I have received many similar letters from my customers.  Of course, even with the software, you still need the craft skills to maintain the detail through the casting process.”

"The other big benefit of ArtCAM JewelSmith is the speed with which you can create new ranges,” he added.  "Projects that would have taken months can now be completed in weeks.  Potential customers tend to lose interest if you tell them something will take six months to manufacture.  They are much more likely to place an order if you can deliver a new range in six weeks.”

"An extra advantage is that any duplicated elements can be reproduced almost instantly.  It is, for example, very frustrating to make a series of identical links for a bracelet by hand, but extremely easy in ArtCAM JewelSmith.”

ArtCAM JewelSmith also gives a quick and easy ability to translate customer’s photographs into a piece of jewellery.  One example of this approach was the creation of a broach with a canal boat design that was reproduced from a photograph taken by the boat’s owner and again received praise for the level of detail. 

A more unusual project involved creating two extra links to a bracelet brought from abroad.  "The customer couldn’t see any difference between the new links and the original piece,” claimed Mr. Corney.  "It would be impossible to duplicate work to such accuracy without the Delcam software.”

"I chose ArtCAM JewelSmith because it is such a comprehensive package with extensive tools for both design and manufacture,” said Mr. Corney.  "From my lecturing background, I was familiar with traditional CADCAM systems and could see that ArtCAM was very different and much more suitable for artists.”

Before making his investment, Mr. Corney evaluated all the software on the UK market.  "Apart from the strengths of the software, the outstanding thing about Delcam was the staff’s level of knowledge of the industry,” he commented.  "It was evident that I was talking to people that understood my needs as a jeweller and silversmith.  I knew that would be very important to me.”