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This presentation piece for Pepco was one of Mr. Schwartz’s most challenging projects with his ArtCAM Pro software

Michael Schwartz has used Delcam’s ArtCAM Pro CADCAM software successfully for ten of his thirty years as a jeweller, metal smith, conservator and educator.  His company, Creative Metalworks, provides design and manufacturing for custom jewellery, ceremonial objects and restorations for museums and private collections, from a converted building in Kensington, Maryland.  Clients include The White House, the Embassy of Oman, the Holocaust Museum, the US Supreme Court, and the National Air and Space Museum, plus many other organisations and individuals.

Mr. Schwartz added ArtCAM Pro to his business after seeing a demonstration at a jewellery trade show in New York.  "I had looked for software for about five years before I found ArtCAM Pro,” he remembered.  "I realised quickly that it did what I needed, it looked friendly and it would provide the accuracy and control I wanted.”

The main benefits are the accuracy and repeatability for parts, especially geometric designs.  "I can create a sculpted object using ArtCAM Pro, then re-use the design, or part of it, in another model,” said Mr. Schwartz.  "Also, ArtCAM Pro lets you create textures which would be impossible to hand carve so accurately.”

"Using the software gives you the ability to create designs with minor changes quickly and easily, for example, when reproducing the same parts each year but just changing the names or dates on them,” he added.  "It has also allowed us to eliminate most photo-etching, which is good as the chemicals used in the process are pretty nasty.”

One of his most challenging designs was for a presentation piece for a retiring director of Pepco.  The building on the left is the original headquarters of Pepco in Washington DC.  To create the model, Mr. Schwartz took a picture from the opposite corner of the street.  Next, in Photoshop, he stretched the image to remove the perspective.  He was then able to build up the model in ArtCAM Pro from the image.

At the time of making the piece, the building on the right of the award was just a blue-print.  Mr. Schwartz had to scan in the blueprints and reduce them in size.  From these he was able to create a number of component pieces to assemble the more complicated shape of this building.  By working from the engineering drawings and by using ArtCAM Pro he was able to replicate exactly the parts to scale.  They were very accurate and went together perfectly.  The base of the award and the front name plaque were also created using ArtCAM Pro.