Amid growing pressures for shorter development cycles, faster time to market and reduced waste, clothing brands and retailers are increasingly looking to leverage the benefits of 3D virtual design and prototyping tools to deliver quick wins across areas such as fit, design, sampling and workflow
By Jonathan Dyson
One example of a fit solution is the 3D Vidya product development tool from Germany’s Assyst, part of the Human Solutions group, that provides 3D visualisation of garments in real time. The software uses data from the international body dimension portal iSize, which offers access to information from 100,000 participants in ten countries.
One brand using the platform is US sportswear label Under Armour, which last year went a step further by working with Alvanon to digitise its size range and create a 3D avatar fleet, from infant size 0 to Men’s 5XL. Wang says this is allowing it to make products with improved sizing and standardisation and “next-level accuracy.”
Also in this area is BodyBlock, from US-based Fit3D. Its database of 3D body scans allows the user to optimise grade rules, size constructs, and develop a library of 3D body models to integrate with computer aided design (CAD) tools. According to the company, users can perform a full sizing optimisation backed by validated data “in weeks, not months.”
Meanwhile, Lectra’s well-established solutions include Modaris, a 3D virtual prototyping module designed to be used alongside its Quick Estimate cloud application, which allows pattern development teams to make their own fabric estimates “on the go.”
The design process itself can reap immediate benefits from the use of 3D technology. One solution is Gerber Technology’s AccuMark 3D, which according to Ketty Pillet, the company’s vice president of marketing, can save users up to 75% in lead time “and reduce physical samples to one.”
Developing 3D workflows
“Clients that do not yet have an internal asset production pipeline can use Dtail’s generic 3D library to get started,” Joost Alferdinck, chief product officer at PixelPool, explains. The platform helps companies set up virtual sample production, for instance.