Exchange with Jean-Claude FRANCE, software expert for 30 years.
Exchange with a software expert.
Could you tell us a few words about yourself?
My name is Jean-Claude FRANCE, I am 60 years old. I have been an application engineer for almost 31 years. I joined Hibiscus in July 1990, which later became Vision Numeric and then Gravotech. Our first product was TYPE EDIT which preceded 3DESIGN software.
What is your role within the team?
My main mission is to train customers on all our products including TYPE EDIT, LASERTYPE and 3DESIGN, specifically in France. I do training on site and at the customer’s location. I also take care of the schools: train the teachers, follow them. I also help the sales people, in France. I take part in the pre-sales and after-sales and contribute to the evolution of the product: report bugs, test versions. I also follow up on 3DESIGN documents and online technical workshops.
What is your history with 3DESIGN?
My story with 3DESIGN started in early 1999.
Our first customer was a jewelry shop located in the Ardèche region of France and a TYPE EDIT user. Many customers then acquired this solution to cut metal plates with which they made their jewelry. The use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in industrial engineering has created a certain interest and ideas among our customers, the creation of a 3D software dedicated to jewelry seemed essential.
The 3DESIGN project was born. We worked for a long time with customers in the region. This allowed us to understand and anticipate their needs to develop an ideal solution.
Lyon is a real hub for the jewelry industry. We did our first presentation of the software at the Print’OR show. For this event, we took into account our users’ feedbacks and met with great success concerning the automatic recalculation of a 3D model after a change in its construction tree.
3DESIGN evolves with its jeweler users, it’s almost like a custom software!
Absolutely! It is a software dedicated to them and its use can even be extended to other sectors. One of our users in Paris makes buttons, belt buckles and other fashion accessories with 3DESIGN.
Do you have any anecdotes about jewelers to share with us?
I’m thinking of jewelers, who, every year participate in training, since 2008. They come to our site for training to improve their skills and discover new features.
I have met many jewelers who were not interested in computer aided. They discovered 3DESIGN and were seduced by the software. Many people are in this case!
One of our users from Lyon has been using 3DESIGN for 3 years. We supported her during the learning process of 3DESIGN when she called us regularly. Thanks to our support, she has gained autonomy. 3DESIGN has become an indispensable tool in her daily use as a jeweler.
Today, we are at Version 10 of 3DESIGN. You have seen 3DESIGN grow, what are the evolutions that have most marked its history?
Let’s start with the construction tree. Being able to work with a finger size, to make a ring, a well-constructed ring. To be able to change the slightest step in a project by having all the operations automatically recalculated: this was a great advance in V4!
Afterwards, customers could use extrusion and sweep to create rings.
For me, the big breakthrough was when we released 3SHAPER, our artistic modeling module. It allowed customers to diversify their designs, stand out from their competitors and create jewelry that was more artistic, less conventional.
A jewelry store in Biarritz makes the difference with its competitors thanks to 3SHAPER.
Are there any particular features that are very important to you on 3DESIGN?
The sweeping wizard, the ring rail builder features. They allow you to create a simple wedding band and modify it easily. They are very easy to use and allow you to go from one finger size to another in a very short time. To then make jeweling into half or full rings. They have very little work to do to change the finger size or even change the stone size.
Pavé. Especially with V10, improvements have been made that will make it easier for users to place their stones, analyze the different diameters that make up the pavé and manage the distance between stones.
The reporting are also important. The report of the jewel, the stones, the technical drawing allow our users to make a complete estimate to present to their customers.
As a trainer, which developments have had the most positive customer feedback?
The ability to create ring easily. There is also the whole part of creating shapes. Using the central curve of the jewel, the edge curves, in order to make their “ajoures” easy and to make their openings thanks to the honeycomb function.
There is also the advanced pavé features. The improvements of our setting functions to create a bezel (the set of a stone, claws, belt). Today, everything is modifiable and adjustable. This is the strength of our product.
Finally, the modifications and improvements are made according to what the customers ask us.
We are continuously improving our solution thanks to the feedback from our customers during our training sessions and exchanges with our sales department. This is how the multi cutters tool came about. The honeycomb is also a customer request.
Our research and development department is constantly looking for innovation and listening to our feedback, which allows us to offer the most powerfull tool possible.
And you, who have been working for a long time in the field of jewelry, do you consider yourself as a jeweler?
No, because I don’t work at bench. You give me a piece of metal, I’ll bend it a little but it will never make a ring, let alone a piece of jewelry!
However, I know their craft perfectly and I know how to interpret it in 3DESIGN.
When you are stuck on a design, when you don’t know how to approach it, thinking about how you would do it by hand allows you to unblock the situation and create the jewelry using 3DESIGN.
You can’t design a piece of jewelry with 3DESIGN without being a jeweler. The software does not replace them, it helps them.
3DESIGN allows them to optimize their work methods: anticipate the cleaning of the castings, the polishing, prepare their piece as well as possible to facilitate the work in the bench. All this will not take away the craft part of the job.
So the jeweler is still a jeweler.
Yes, we will never replace the talent and expertise of a jeweler.
A word to all jewelers in France and around the world?
Let them use 3DESIGN!
3DESIGN was made for them! Our expertise, our innovations, the continuous evolution of our tools, the proximity with our customers make it possible for us to offer them a custom-made solution.
We have many users who started with another software and then discovered 3DESIGN. They don’t think about using it back.