Quest for Imperfection

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Building flaws into CAD designs—on purpose

By Lee Krombholz

Jewelry makers who handcraft their pieces leave an indelible mark on the work for eternity. Physically interacting with metal and gemstones to shape and transform them into a wearable piece of art is a very personal process, and the resulting work reflects that. When CAD/CAM hit the jewelry scene, some jewelers were hesitant to embrace the technology because it made the jewelry-making process less personal. Jewelers’ hands were traded for computers that generated very precise, accurate models—but they usually lacked the subtle imperfections of a handcrafted piece.