Patterns in minutes - Furniture design and manufacturing
Digital Patterning Integrates with 3D CAD to Automate Furniture Manufacturing
Despite predictions of sustained 3% or more growth in customer demand, Furniture manufacturers are expected to face several challenges to profitability including:
- Skilled Labor Shortage
- Increasing Costs
- Fluctuating Customer Demand
- Supply Chain Visibility and Efficiency
Source: Creative Technology and Design Blog March 2018
In addition, in the era of Mass Customization, furniture manufacturers need to find fast and accurate ways to convert an ever-growing variety of designs into the production materials required for fabrication.
The old economies of scale that allowed designers and pattern makers to iterate for days or weeks on a single design (used for hundreds of production pieces) has ended. In order to retain a competitive advantage, manufacturers of upholstered furniture need to streamline their design-to-fabrication process, so they can increase profits on every piece made.
Furniture Manufacturing has too many manual steps
Design has benefited greatly from the widespread adoption of 3D CAD. However, the fabrication process which requires companies to generate a physical prototype and then utilize the legacy tape and drape or "best guess" method to create rough patterns adds a time-consuming series of manual steps. And the process is further delayed by the endless cycle of iterations and fit testing until the pattern is right. Worst yet is the impact of changes or the desire to apply anything other than seamless graphics to the pattern piece.
What is needed is a reliable way to eliminate these steps and to produce flat patterns and material cost estimates in minutes directly from 3D CAD designs.
How ExactFlat Saves You Time
ExactFlat can flatten 3D models into 2D patterns with just a few mouse clicks. For many years, ExactFlat has been the leading flattening software for the furniture industry. The team of software developers and industry specialists have developed a simple solution to converting 3D CAD models into accurate patterns.
- The first step utilizes FEA-type technology to convert the 3D CAD model into a tessellated 3D mesh.
- Next, designers can merge or cut mesh faces to define the specific pieces for flattening.
- Then the system unfolds the 3D mesh and converts it into a rough 2D pattern.
- Next is optimization. For this critical step the software uses the specific properties of the material to simulate fabric performance and ensure a perfect pattern.
- The final step is to add pattern details such as seams, notches, or custom graphics, and to export the 2D patterns for production drawing creation or to go directly to cutters.
ExactFlat – Flatten Anything
Manufacturers looking for a competitive advantage can reduce manufacturing time and production costs while improving design flexibility. ExactFlat is the proven leader in 3D-to-2D flattening software. To learn more, click on the image below and schedule a time to speak with one of our experts.
Manufacturers looking for a competitive advantage can reduce manufacturing time and production costs while improving design flexibility. ExactFlat is the proven leader in 3D-to-2D flattening software.