Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy
Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy Welcome To New Approach CAD Academy

Finally! a CAD program designed for the jeweler's mindset, where technology, common sense and a hands on learning environment allows students to go beyond cookie cutter designs and push button solutions. We teach cutting edge software like Rhino  3D and ZBrush in the dynamic learning environment that NASJ is known for.  

Even though the best equipment and software are important, what really makes NACA special is our instructors Chris & Eric. 

They come from diverse backgrounds, have a combined CAD experience of over 43 years, and share a simple philosophy of teaching their hearts out. Chris & Eric are innovative and go the extra mile to make sure their students succeed. 

Our longer CAD programs offer something truly unique by combining stone setting, finishing and other manufacturing techniques. This will be taught at a fully stocked jeweler's bench, under the guidance of Blaine Lewis, Drew Hadley and Eric Baker.

We offer a wide variety of classes to fit your needs. You can find the New Approach CAD Academy schedule listed below.

A Special Message from Blaine Lewis 

“All too often, CAD designers don’t know how to make jewelery. It’s been a huge problem in our industry but we are here to fix that and provide you with an educational experience that is second to none. We look forward to seeing you in the future and helping you with you career.”

Fundamental Rhino

This is a 1 week course that explores the basic Rhino 3D toolset needed to begin modeling jewelry in 3D. No prerequisite.

Learn key NURBS curve and surface creation tools as well as Boolean operations, simple rendering techniques, and exporting production ready mesh models.


  • April 4 - 8, 2022 
  • July 11 - 15, 2022

Tuition: $1,400


Essential Rhino

This is a 2 week intensive course that covers the crucial Rhino 3D toolsets and principles needed to begin modeling well-constructed jewelry in 3D. No prerequisite.

Learn to create superior curves and surfaces with sound curvature continuity methods while exploring most NURBS surface creation tools, Boolean operations, and the new SubD toolset.  We also cover rendering techniques, workspace customization, import/exporting of mesh files, basic 3D printing, and an introduction to ZBrush.


  • April 11 -22, 2022
  • June 6 - 17, 2022
  • July 18 - 29, 2022

Tuition: $2,800


Essential ZBrush

This is a 2 week course that explores the fundamental ZBrush skillset and principles needed to create organic and sculpted custom models for the jewelry industry. No prerequisite.

Learn ideal mesh modeling techniques using a multitude of brushes and masks to sculpt intricate designs onto your jewelry. We also cover when/how to use ZBrush as a companion to other 3D software (like Rhino 3D) to take your designs to the next level. Finally, learn to avoid common design and production disasters by using ZBrush’s powerful plug-ins to repair bad mesh topology.


  • 2023 Dates TBD

Tuition: $2,800


Dynamic CAD

This is an 8 week course that teaches the Rhino 3D toolsets and principles needed to create well-constructed CAD models for the jewelry industry. No prerequisite.

Learn NURBS, SubD, Mesh, and Parametric modeling techniques all while producing a multitude of jewelry models and refining your CAD skills. We also cover advanced rendering techniques, 3D scanning and printing, production standards, and an introduction to Grasshopper and ZBrush.


  • August 15 - October 7, 2022

Tuition: $10,400 plus Lab Fee (TBD)


Beyond CAD

This is a 12 week course that delves deeper into Rhino 3D, ZBrush, and High-Definition Manufacturing techniques needed to get you well on your way as a CAD technician in the jewelry industry. No prerequisite. DynamicCAD is included in the first 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks of our DynamicCAD program spend an additional 4 weeks exploring ZBrush, cleaning and preparing 3D prints for production, proper sprueing techniques, investment mold making and casting, polishing and finishing mountings, and basic stone-setting.


  • August 15 - November 4, 2022

Tuition: $15,600 plus Lab Fee (TBD)




Christopher Mendola