Does anyone know of a good, easy to learn program for doing ring designs. would any CAD program work or are they for special uses, homes, auto etc. I would not want one based on changing designs, such as from stuller as I never sell that kind of product and those are the systems I have seen at shows. Not to mention the price was a little high.
Any suggestions would be helpful as I have never used one before.
I think that Rhinoceros is a good CAD sofware for solid modeling and they have a special program for jewelry, you can try this sofware for free at http://www.rhino3d.com/jewelry.htm
I have seen incredible renderings with this program.
There are a number of great programs out there. You might take a look at Rhino, JewelSpace, Form Z, Cimigraphi, SolidWorks, and, my favorite Matrix (www.gemvision.com). Actually, matrix is a plug-in for Rhino, but a very full featured one!
For the money, Rhino can't be beat. If you visit their website regularly, they offer specials from time to time, but even at full price, ($895, I think) there is nothing that can beat it unless you spend waaaaay more than that.
Some of these things may sound expensive, but to those who create and/or manufacture jewelry, it's no more expensive than stocking another medium sized diamond.
The learning curve is there, for sure, but nothing that is good comes easy.
Here's an example of one of the pieces I'm working on for a line of neo-Victorian style bands done in 18K and black metal.