Jweel, a product of Skimlab, is an application that provides two user-friendly modelling programmes that allows everyone to have a go at designing their own piece of jewellery. As part of their services, Jweel claims to give every user, regardless of technical skill or jewellery know-how, the chance to create their own jewellery and express themselves creatively.
From this, I believe that this software has been cleverly designed and marketed: I agree with the statement made on their website that “everyone has an inherent need to express themselves” and by removing the cost of buying a modelling programme and the complications that can arise from designing a piece of digital jewellery from scratch, Jweel can reach and appeal to wider audiences.
(All images are sourced from www.jweel.com/en/)
The two modelling programmes consist of a Text ring and Freestyle ring app. The text ring application is the simpler of the two, promising exactly what it is titled as: a ring made up from text of your choosing. Available options for editing include the size of the ring, the font, italics and/or bold, and a comprehensive range of symbols.
In contrast, the Freestyle ring application offers much more freedom, but of course this requires more time to master. Although, the interface of this application appears quite basic and minimal at a glance, once I had grasped how the features worked, I was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive this application operates.
With both applications, once the design is complete, you can choose from silver, gold, brass, steel or titanium and a finish of sandblasted, gloss or at a premium, high gloss and, from the gallery provided on the website, each design is finished to a very high standard.
I think this is a great application for introducing CAD and CAM to a wider consumer market and for the services provided, at a reasonable price. In my personal opinion, I found some features on the applications limited: restricting some of my own design ideas. However, this comes from an individual who already has some experience with CAD and could create the exact design she wanted in another programme: it most certainly does not speak for other individuals and their experiences.
Overall, I enjoyed using this software and I intend to enter one of their monthly competitions. I really appreciated the direct link between constructing your design digitally and having it manufactured: with efficient rendering and price updates. Additionally, I am excited about the potential of more online modelling programmes/apps. Not only will this eliminate the need to buy or download software: making CAD more accessible, but it may also mean an increase in specialist programmes with refined features e.g. stone setting for jewellery.