Reviews of 3DESIGN CAD jewellery software & services by Sierra Consultancy
Hear what British and Irish jewellers have to say about our software and services
"With 17 years of experience in bespoke manufacturing, I can say that 3DESIGN has allowed me to take my customers on a personal design journey. On numerous occasions I have sat down with them and modified a design. This involvement allows for a deeper customer connection. There’s nothing like creating one-off bespoke pieces.
After exploring various software packages, I stuck with 3DESIGN due to its intuitiveness and great support. It is a user-friendly software and a proven solution for bespoke jewellery manufacture. Every now and then I go back into the 'Vault' of early drawings and see how far I've come and learned along the way.
My absolute favourite piece without a doubt needs to be Isla Cocos. It was co-designed with Siantel James. This piece was created using 3DESIGN and won a silver award at the Goldsmiths Craft Council Awards in 2021. The collection was inspired by oceanic themes and my love for marine biology.
I've worked with Pooja from Sierra Consultancy for many years. The support and training received has been enjoyable and to the highest standards. She is an excellent teacher. To anyone serious about CAD design, I would recommend Sierra Consultancy in a heartbeat."
Simon Evans, Owner and Bespoke CAD Designer
"I was always crafty as a child. At 16 when I did a couple of weeks work experience, I got the opportunity to work with a jeweller, I made my first ring; a cabochon hematite stone in a rub over setting on a silver D-shape band. That sealed my fate!
As a trainee goldsmith, I had the opportunity to get trained on CAD. I jumped at the chance to try 3DESIGN software.
After changing jobs, CAD software was out of my reach. I had no access to CAD for a number of years. At some stage I had the opportunity to use Matrix. Something just didn’t click. The program did not feel like a good fit for me, so I returned to what I felt was intuitive- 3DESIGN. Once I saw 3DESIGN, it all clicked and fell into place.
The software has helped me tremendously, from creating organic designs to mathematically complex pieces. My Rock Candy collection came to life with 3DESIGN. It may look simple, but the closer you look at it, it is a series of swirls around the turquoise gemstone. You realise that the swirls themselves move on a curve.
My inspiration for the collection came from the fact that I’m a big water baby. This teamed with my time at the seaside and whimsical, nostalgic approach helped inspire me.
It took quite some time to get this design to work and Sierra Consultancy was there to bounce ideas through. It has a number of components within it to achieve the desired look. I’m absolutely thrilled how this turned out.
There have been other occasions where I didn’t know the right process to achieve a certain look but Sierra Consultancy was always on hand to advise. I’m delighted that I opted for 3DESIGN and can’t see working without it again.
As for the future, well I’m currently working on my next collection so you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to see it but yes, of course 3DESIGN is certainly being utilised."
Jennifer House, Founder
"It is approximately 5 years since I first started using 3DESIGN. I accidentally happened upon 3DESIGN via an email from Holts (now the BAJ- British Academy of Jewellery). Having attended a 3DESIGN Taster Day, I could immediately see that the interface had a much more intuitive interface which worked for me. I am used to Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc. and the menu system and work area is far more design led, with more intuitive actions. I took to it immediately, for me, 3DESIGN is a great fit. I decided to invest firstly in a week-long course at BAJ, then in a Student Licence, followed by the software and some intensive training with Sierra Consultancy.
I am very much a front-end designer and as such, in researching the obvious software choices, I was a little intimidated by the somewhat techy interfaces of Rhino, Matrix etc. Like with any software, with 3DESIGN, there is A LOT to learn and understand. I am only just now using it daily due to other work commitments. With Pooja's guidance, I’ve felt most reassured I did indeed choose the right product for me and have not had a situation where we haven’t found a solution; my proficiency is ever growing. She is patient and helpful, and her connection with you as a student doesn’t end on completion of the course – she has been invaluable when I have got into difficulties working solo!
I am fortunate enough to have experienced training with Pooja in many different ways – I began with her demo at BAJ, then we undertook some joint training with another professional I met on the BAJ course in person at Sierra Consultancy facilities. Then, more recently during lockdown and beyond we have undertaken one-to-one training online. All of the above are equally effective.
Pooja is both professional and personable and goes the extra mile to help. On more than one occasion we’ve discussed an issue and possible solutions, then the following morning I’ve had an email saying ‘I was thinking about your design…’ as someone who works alone from home and no one here who understands the software, when I’ve got into difficulty it is just so reassuring to have a point of contact who will consider you individually and try their best to help even outside of the paid time for training.
Her paid sessions are well considered, she asks questions and preps in advance so that you make the best of your time with her. She then supplies all the files and videos from the session so you can recap. I thoroughly recommend Sierra Consultancy if you are considering 3DESIGN as your software and want a dedicated and knowledgeable tutor.
We have recently added DeepImage™ to our 3DESIGN portfolio, (we already use 3SHAPER alongside 3DESIGN), which I’m currently integrating into my work. This has further enhanced our ability to demonstrate designs to clients especially with small animations."
Joanna Haywood, Senior CAD Designer
"Diamond Centre Wales has been using 3DESIGN software for over a decade. Though we have reviewed other packages over the years, none fit as easily as 3DESIGN into our workflow and allow us to adapt to different challenges we face as a bespoke jewellery manufacturer.
Co-collaboration with our customers is a big part of our creation process, the parametric changes allowed by 3DESIGN means that various options or tweaks to designs are easy to accomplish and result in us not feeling like we have to start from scratch each time these variations are tried.
We have utilised the DeepImage™ rendering software for communicating ideas to customers, allowing to easily create and show what the finished pieces will look like and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
The continuous support and training Pooja offers, alongside her personable disposition make Sierra Consultancy and 3DESIGN an easy choice for our business."
Adam Evans, CAD/CAM Manager
"I didn’t have a clue where to start looking for a CAD jewellery software solution. I did some basic research on the internet and came across a website called cadjewelleryskills.com I found that site to be informative, giving frank and unbiased opinions on the leading CAD software programmes. This led me to exploring the 3DESIGN website, before contacting them directly.
I chose 3DESIGN above the alternatives for 3 reasons. Firstly, I felt as a complete novice to CAD that this would be the easiest to learn from scratch, without it being limited in its’ capabilities compared to the others available. Secondly, I found the parametric feature very appealing. Lastly, after speaking with each of the companies on my CAD shortlist, Pooja at 3DESIGN inspired the most confidence about the product, ongoing support and the initial and (optional) ongoing training.
The training was excellent and gave me a good basic knowledge of how the system works. As a complete CAD novice, I was able to design several pieces of jewellery by the end of the 3 days. I was given the confidence to experiment with the software without fear of any type of disaster! Any queries I have ever had about the system have been dealt with very quickly by Pooja. I subscribe to the technical desk but have never actually had cause to use it. The online “care-lounge” videos I subscribe to have proven invaluable over the last four years. They are simple to follow and cover just about every feature within the software. I have also downloaded the complete manual for 3DESIGN and 3SHAPER, which are incredibly informative and easy to follow.
I have been using the software for almost four years and do not ever envisage changing."
Martin Furber, Director
"As a master pattern maker, I started experimenting with a few jewellery software packages to get the level of accuracy I needed for more ridged and symmetrical patterns. When you specialise in animal carvings, there is a degree of tolerance for artistic interpretation. For custom-made and mass-produced articles, 3DESIGN offers the best solution on the market.
3DESIGN has a really pleasing interface that makes it comfortable to navigate around. You get instant gratification with the creation you are working on, by seeing it come alive in the material of your choice. With DeepImage™ you are able to produce stunning renders. The software also offers the flexibility of exporting your design in various file formats.
I began learning 3DESIGN by going through the online Training Lounge tutorials to get to a Beginners level. I then booked a group 3SHAPER training session followed by a bespoke one-to-one 3DESIGN course with Pooja, which was tailored exactly to my requirements and pace. After a year of use, I then did a further one-to-one training course with Pooja.
Pooja’s professional approach, support and endless energy is a perfect combination to equip you with the knowledge needed to fully utilise 3DESIGN to your particular style."
Roz Buehrlen, Director