New technologies allow the customer to supervise the work of the artisan through Internet. The models are manufactured in stages, and we do not proceed from one to the next without prior approval by the customer. The modelling in supervised stages minimises the costs, flaws and makes it easier to introduce corrections, and improve the customer satisfaction with the finished work.

According to my experience in jewellery produced by means of traditional techniques, the customer or the designer usually delivers a sketch of the jewel and after a few days the piece is delivered to the customer without any possibility of supervising the intermediary stages of modelling. In case of dissatisfaction with the final result, corrections may imply remodelling from scratch. The combination of 3D digital modelling techniques plus remote access through internet enables the customer to anticipate corrections, minimising the manufacturing time and the costs of remodelling.

I will illustrate the supervision and reduction of remodelling costs with an example; the brooch whose render heads this article. It is a commission made by Bernard Retzignac (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), responsible for the sketch and owner of the digital model. Each leaf of the brooch has a pavé of brilliants with hexagonal lace work. For this job, there are three important issues to take into consideration:

  • Aesthetic doubts arise regarding the leaves and their assembly. The client suggests an initial sketch, but the designer, as well as the craftsman may assess alternatives in order to choose the best option.
  • The most laborious bit falls on the modelling of the pavés and hexagonal lace work of the leaves.
  • For the pavés of brilliants, the customer specifies a particular range of sizes, not susceptible to scaling-up.

Now I will evaluate the differences between modelling with or without intermediate stages.

Modelling without intermediate supervision. Let us suppose that once the model is finished, the customer requests to scale-up the leaves. In the digital modelling, as the size of the leaves is increased, so would it be for the lace work for the brilliants, thus exceeding the specified size range. Therefore, it will be necessary to retrieve the prototype of the leaves without pavés or lace work, increase the size of the leaves and remake the pavés and lace work completely from scratch. The most laborious bit of the commission would have been done twice.

The aforementioned additional cost can be avoided by developing a digital model in stages, three in this case:

Stage 1. Modelling of the leaves, centre and assembly. At this stage, the customer supervises the dimensions and aesthetics of the piece.



Stage 2. Modelling of pavés, lace work and claws for a single leaf. At this stage the customer supervises the distribution of the pavés and the quality of the lace work.



Stage 3. Modelling of pavés, lace work and claws in the rest of the sheets. Modelling of the setting structure.



We can conclude that manufacturing in stages:

  • offers the client the possibility of evaluating modifications to the suggested sketch without increasing the costs of modelling.
  • avoids the repetition of tasks derived from re-modelling, saving time.