I was asked to create a pendant out of a beautiful piece of boulder opal. Since I’m not a trained jeweller, I didn’t have the skill to build a structure around the stone by hand. I can only do things in CAD. Consequently I had to somehow create a perfect reproduction of the stone as a virtual model.
After failing to create a model from multi view photographs, I decided to get a very accurate scan from a 3D scanner used in the dental industry. This I could import into my CAD program. The end result worked a little like a spring on the corners of the opal so I didn’t have to use any glue. Below is the actual piece.