3D CAD and digital patterning demystified – Part 2
Using 3D to simplify 2D pattern making
In the first article in this series, we reviewed several ways to create 3D CAD models:
Implement the tools and create the 3D CAD models from scratch
Utilize 3D Scanning technology to capture the details of existing products
Let someone else do the modeling, then leverage their parts and/or templates in your process
There is almost always someone in your production ecosystem that is either already creating 3D design data or is looking at it as a future process improvement. This is because 3D has just become a require tool for success in any manufacturing business. In this portion of the series, we’ll walk through the process and benefits of using digital patterning tools to quickly convert the 3D CAD models into 2D patterns.
The advantages of Digital Patterning
Digital patterning software like ExactFlat allows pattern makers to utilize those 3D assets to streamline the patterning and fit validation process. All of this without asking them to become experts in the use of 3D CAD. In the case of the furniture design and production process shown here, the steps included:
Opening the existing template file,
Making simple edits to meet the new design criteria
Using cutting tools within the CAD software to break the design into pieces
Flattening the 3D model into 2D patterns
Generating the cutting and assembly instructions for the manufacturers
How do you create accurate patterns today? What's your process?
In most cases, where time and cost saving digital best practices are not being used, the legacy process includes one or more of the following manual steps:
Reviewing sketches then using previous experience to work out a pattern
Limiting innovation by simply editing old patterns to implement nominal changes in the designs
Creating physical prototypes of the product and then using the "drape and tape" method to tediously create rough patterns
What we're hearing is that manufacturers are no longer able to meet their business goals or address competitive situations using these methods. That's where 3D design and digital patterning can help. If you want to learn more about how 3D CAD and digital patterning might fit into your business, just click on the image below to set up a time to meet with one of our experts.