3D SIMULATION FOR VIRTUAL SAMPLE MAKING AND APPROVAL IS OFFERED BY EVERY CAD SUPPLIER. CAN FABRIC FALL BE CORRECTLY SIMULATED VIRTUALLY ON SCREEN?
3D simulation for virtual sample making and approval is offered by every CAD supplier. While CAD for pattern making, grading, marker making is used by the majority of apparel manufacturers, 3D sample approval process is rarely used by manufacturers. Why? Is it because of cost or any technical limitations? Can fabric fall be correctly simulated virtually on screen?
As far as my thinking for 3D visualisation in CAD is concerned, it will be more suitable for fashion houses which make only one or two design samples. It is not a basic necessity for export houses working on large volume orders as well as it is not the requirement of the buyers.
At Pooja International, we are using CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which are easier to handle for designing and I am very much comfortable with these software. If I talk on behalf of the export houses, 3D simulation software comes with heavy investment and this needs special learning or special training and people with such high skills are hard to find at least in Delhi-NCR.
However, India is growing steadily and manual pattern making has been replaced by CAD pattern making over the years; thereby I am sure, after few years, India will also have 3D simulation in export houses seeing the rising popularity of such solutions.
Being a designer, I would like to learn this as it will be easier for designers like me to create the first look of a garment in software instead of making so many dummy and samples.
DESIGNER, POOJA INTERNATIONAL, NOIDA (INDIA)
Let's get down to basics. What's all this talk about ‘3D sampling’, ‘virtual prototyping’? This virtual sample methodology enables to predict, review and amend details of garments on the computer by using software rather than making adjustments on real life fit model, and the clothing sample is time-consuming and incurs high cost. This digital-friendly technology not only makes the process simpler and cost-effective but also encourages the technicians to take a call on designs virtually after visualising the designs through various permutation and combination of sketches, patterns and designs. Photorealistic 3D samples are driving end consumers and trade partners to view and interact with product samples which are not yet manufactured. It creates an opportunity to participate directly or indirectly in brand decision making process of how, when, what and how many to manufacture. It’s widely used by most of the retail brands at design conception stage.
I wouldn't say that there are no limitations to it. Every technology that is introduced has certain pros and cons and for 3D sampling, some of these are: investment in 3D technology which is expensive and therefore, most of the small manufacturers and exporters cannot afford to accommodate these techniques in their infrastructure. Secondly, the necessary skills and the basic amenities required to adapt to this current trend are expensive. Retaining trained resources is a big challenge here in India. There are some technical reasons because of which there is still a gap in understanding the fabric in terms of weave, texture, GSM of fabric and drape/ fall properties and whatever analysis is derived is not accurate. Though this is a suitable model for basic fabric structure. Most of the domestic retail brands in India have their own predefined specification and sizes in cuts and shapes. These differ from brand to brand. The exporters wouldn't be able to spend on these custom specifications for each and every retailer. To overcome this, the buyers can work in collaboration with the manufacturers, retailers, research and development team to understand the specifications at the initial stage and regular stage checks will make the process simple, easy and assist in long-term business association.
MANAGER (TECHNICAL DESIGN), RELIANCE RETAIL LTD., BANGALORE (INDIA)
In my opinion, it’s not about the cost or the technical limitations, it’s actually about the mindset of the industry people and the existing working methods.
As per the current method, people find it simple enough to pin or stitch samples, place them on a dummy and then adjust them, so that the touch and feel is involved. Thus, it’s a completely new idea for them to do the same on a computer without touching , and that doesn’t quite go with them. However, they do not realise the effort,
time, material, machine, money getting wasted on the current method.
Hopefully, in future, their mindsets will change when they realise how simple it will be to do the same on a software. Initially even CAD was not accepted readily in the market, because of quite similar reasons. The pattern makers were habituated of constructing patterns with paper and pencil and the idea of constructing patterns on a computer was not okay for them. It took quite a lot of time for them to comprehend how easy, efficient and time saving the CAD could be, and now CAD is extensively used in the apparel industry.
And about the fabric fall, I would like to tell that a fabric has many physical properties which altogether is responsible for the fabric fall.
If one knows the weight, thickness, warps, wefts, type of weave, stretch, they are almost done with knowing the fabric properties and they can easily get these infos from the mill/suppliers. The software allows one to work with all the properties by giving certain values, which results in the right simulation. These factors have been decided after extensive research and trials. People can also find some tried and tested preloaded fabric templates (silk, satin, cotton, denim ) to give them an idea about the drape and fall simulation.
And lastly, I would like to say that it’s just the beginning for 3D. A lot of new technologies are coming up in it, and it is definitely the future of the apparel and fashion world.
The 3D era is yet to come.
FASHION TECHNOLOGIST, GA MORGAN DYNAMICS, BANGALORE (INDIA)
I think 3D simulation is still not being used by garment producers because they are not well aware of the real potential and they struggle to understand how 3D technology can replace manual prototyping, especially when pattern makers have been working on a real scale dummy for 20 to 30 years. Most of them think it's not possible to evaluate the fit on screen because they cannot feel the fabric fall and ease, but I'm pretty sure that this digital shift will come with the new generations of designers/pattern makers who are already used to working with digital tools.
3D FASHION & VIRTUAL PROTOTYPE SPECIALIST (FRANCE) 3D virtual sample making process is surely an emerging concept, however it is still not widely used by the apparel manufacturers. Traditional method of making sample is still dominating this technical concept and people find it easier to make a sample and get it checked on a dummy. People are used to having a feel of the fabric by physically touching it. Besides, physical verification of fabric fall also matters to them. This approach is being followed by most of the garment factories, at least in India.
But, as far as customisation is concerned, I will prefer 3D simulation over physical sampling process. Customisation means you are going to give a customer what he wants from you and 3D virtual prototyping is the best solution for this. Even we are doing a lot of customisation and we are planning to adopt this approach soon. As mentioned in the question that fall may be a problem in 3D simulation, I am sure the technology suppliers have considered this issue before coming up with their software. So, I am quite hopeful of making samples using 3D simulation and in fact, we are planning to have a demo of the same for which we are in touch with various CAD suppliers.
DIRECTOR, RGB CREATIONS PVT. LTD., DELHI, (INDIA)