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To CAD or not to CAD?: Deciding when CAD is the right tool for a design

So, what interesting challenges have your customers brought you? Each goldsmith has their strengths and weaknesses, just like a piece of equipment. I love CAD—it has changed my life in ways I could not have imagined 20 years ago. It is exciting for me to see the latest tools and how they can help save time and money. Yet, I also recognize that CAD is not always the most appropriate tool for every job. While the goal may be to get a piece out to a customer as quick as possible, there is something to be said for doing things the old-fashioned way when it’s the best course of action.

I welcome your comments on this column or any of the others I’ve written over the last few years. If there is some particular aspect of CAD you’d like me to address in a future article, drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you.

Shele Letwin is a graduate of the jewellery arts program at Toronto’s George Brown College, an award-winning designer, and a CAD/CAM instructor. She has been a regular guest speaker at trade shows in both Canada and the United States. Letwin can be reached via e-mail at

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