So, I finally finished up the ring to bracelet redesign. I am super happy with how the whole process turned went - from designing my first 3D modeled ring, to using a casting service and then post-processing myself. I definitely would get other objects cast in silver through Shapeways. While the cost was only $50.00 to get the design cast in silver, I did spend a considerable amount of time designing, cleaning up the ring, finishing, and setting the stone... so if I had to price out the piece for production, I would probably need to sell this particular ring design starting at around $175.00 to make a profit. $50.00 for casting, 3 hours for post-processing labor per ring @ $20.00/hr and packaging, plus %60 mark up for profit, with design hours being paid for after the first 2 sales. Compared to a company like Skydog, price is right on par... And their paying rent in LA, which means their jewelry is a steal - GO SHOP NOW!
A friend of mine asked me to do something with this a long time ago - and I think I'm finally going to put in some work on it. Her mom had gotten her this bracelet when she was little and it unfortunately broke. I did a 3D scan of the object the other day and took some preliminary pictures of the ring... My plan is to design a ring using Rhino Gold, get it printed through Shapeways in wax, cast, and set the stone after. I've never done a ring design in Rhino Gold - or printed from Shapeways before - so this will be a nice low risk experiment.
I have been creating these gem forms in Rhino for a couple days now by hand... Starting with a profile curve, extruding a small girdle, creating a duplicate edge of the girdle and then extruding that curve to a point...
The forms are turning out relatively nice - I'm getting interesting facets but they aren't true gem forms as both sides are the same.
I was browsing through the RhinoGold tool panel and noticed the Gem Creator tool and decided to give it a try. All this tool requires is the outline curve to create the gem shape and from there you are just selecting options on a tool panel. It significantly reduces the time spent modeling. This tool is a definite win.
Below you can see the gray gems are the ones I've created by hand, and the black were created by the Gem Creator tool.
I appreciate the ability to easily achieve consistency in the Gem Creator - You can also save your gems to a library to use them with other functions like the array and channel commands. I can definitely envision myself using this tool a lot in the future in jewelry to create and utilize custom stones/forms.