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My way of working lies on the border between craftsmanship and industry. Mine are "digitally handmade" products as I like to call them. But what does it really mean?
Computer Aided Design (CAD) design technologies for the goldsmith sector are increasingly assuming a key role, both for the advantages that derive from an economic point of view, and for the opportunity they offer to interface with modern production automatic systems CAM type (Computer Aided Manufacturing).
These CAM automatic production systems are divided into two types:
- Numerical control machine tools (machining by material removal).
- Rapid prototyping systems (processing by addition of material).
The latter type, for clarity, includes the 3D printers that GWUMM uses for the creation of its jewels. In practice, once the 3D model has been created using CAD software, it is sent to a rapid prototyping machine for the realization of the resin / wax model which will later be melted.
The procedure is technological only in its first part, once the prototype in resin / wax has been printed, in fact, the procedures go back to being those of classic goldsmithing that rest their foundations on a technique dating back to the Bronze Age: lost wax
! A small clarification. In the last period, rapid prototyping systems have also been gaining ground, capable of directly printing metal such as gold, aluminum and titanium through a process called direct laser sintering of metals (DMLS) and selective laser melting (SLM).
This rapidly developing technology combines the design flexibility offered by 3D printing and the mechanical properties of metal. At the moment, however, it is used marginally in the goldsmith sector due to a very heterogeneous final surface that requires more manual finishing at a later time.
A new era
This modernization of the goldsmith sector has already existed for decades, however the cost of such software and especially printers were prohibitive for small artisan or designer workshops. As is often the case, modernization has made the cost of such machines more affordable.
Example of 3d printer uses in many field
Here at GWUMM I don't press any magic buttons. I let myself be inspired by what surrounds me, or rather, I let myself be inspired by the emotions that what surrounds me manages to arise.
For jewels with an organic shape, I "sculpt" the material exactly as a goldsmith would do, except that instead of small engraving tools I use the mouse. Furthermore, this technological methodology makes it possible to create shapes that are unattainable by hand, therefore technology should not be seen as an impoverishment of the creative flair, far from it is an enrichment, bringing the human imagination to the limits of the possible.
The use of CAD technologies requires a reorganization of the company structure with the adoption of a well-defined mentality and procedures that allow already in the conception phase, to define the cost of the model and to plan orders for the supply of raw materials that since it is a precious metal, it requires the immobilization of considerable capital. Furthermore, the integrated use of CAD allows to establish a dialogue between the designer, the production, the marketing and the distribution chain when no physical model has yet been produced and any modifications to the computer have a negligible cost.
I have the possibility to satisfy the customer's wishes, developing individualized proposals, rich in content and stylistically fascinating, which however do not find space in the production and distribution systems to which the jewelery sector is firmly anchored.
Innovation comes from independent creatives and visionaries, small entrepreneurs, new artisans, from dynamic realities that create new avenues for communication and alternative paths for promotion and marketing, without having to respect sales channels, production chains and systems pre-established organizational structures.
This is what I do here at GWUMM.