Matrix, CAD for Jewellery

Matrix, CAD for Jewellery

You might tell from my work, I’m fairly hands-on with the design and making process for my jewellery.  Designs often evolve through process for me, and there is always a responsive-ness to materials that I had felt intrinsic to my working process.

So, when I signed up for this CAD course run by Jack Meyer at Holt’s Academy I confess, I expected not to like it much.

However, using a computer to realise a design and improve your design potential can be viewed as an equally valid process in the act of creation; thus the good student and the sceptic in me had already drawn up their opinionated lines long before this course began.

The sceptic was beaten back to its corner!

Matrix is a software designed specifically for making jewellery, and as I was later to find out, it’s a very powerful, high performance tool in the design and realisation of the jewellery making process.

Totem ring by Vicky Forrester designed using Matrix
The matrix interface

In addition to outputting 3D files that can go straight to the manufacturer for rapid-prototyping  Matrix can be used to produce very believable renders of your final designs which, at the click of the mouse can be converted to any material, colour or texture.

The software allows you to design around specified precious stone sizes or weights, giving tools to quickly fabricate the setting of your heart’s desire, and on top of all of this, once you have ‘constructed’ your piece of jewellery on screen you can identify precisely how much metal it will take to make it!

Precious ring © Vicky Forrester, realised using CAD software

This 14 – day intensive course gave me a taste for what is possible with jewellery design using Matrix. I can’t say it was an easy ride – Jack is an excellent tutor and he planned the course to give a taste of the real pressures of the designer’s working experiences. The numerous assignments with tight deadlines ensured a perpetual (and realistic) pressure to perform at 110% and the days seemed eternally long, yet not quite long enough to satisfy the perfectionist in me!

I’ve gone ahead and bought the student version of Matrix on a one year limited license. Let’s see where it goes from here….

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