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Making 3D Design as Easy as Drag-and-Drop

By Sourcing Journal

Designing or updating fashion garments in 3D software can be daunting to companies who require four individual skill sets—designer, technical designer, patternmaker and 3D visualizer. But one 3D design software company has combined those skills into one with a simplified design and ideation interface that’s as easy as drag-and-drop.

“Part of the problem is that traditional 3D CAD tools developed over the last 15 years were mainly developed to visualize existing designs, and are not really well suited to designers trying to create new or updated styles,” said William Wilcox, founder and president of Clothing Tech LLC, in a fireside chat with Sourcing Journal studio director Lauren Parker. “While it’s possible to train designers to have all these skill sets, we decided to take a different approach. We use expert systems and automation to give the designers superpowers.”

Such “superpowers” make it easy for even designers unskilled in 3D to experiment with updating existing styles in the three main categories of design—fabric, print and color; overall shape like length or volume; and finishes like neckline details, decorative stitching or buttons.

The biggest advantage, said Wilcox, is that with each design iteration in 3D, the pattern and tech pack are automatically updated, so human error is eliminated. “Because the tech pack is produced as you go, it’s always up to date,” said Wilcox. “Whatever you see on the screen, in terms of the 3D asset, it’s completely accurate in the tech pack.” In other words, a technical designer doesn’t have to worry about accurately translating a hand-drawn sketch to a tech pack as it’s done automatically in real time.

In addition, designers can create as many variations of a garment they want—at no added cost—then virtually share them with teams for feedback, all without the expense and carbon footprint of physical creation and sample shipping.

This Fireside Chat is part two of Clothing Tech’s four-part video series, focusing on how 3D design can help propel the $1.5 trillion retail industry. Part 1 can be viewed here.

This interview was published in Sourcing Journal June 20, 2023. Clothing Tech is a member of SPESA.

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