With the increasing convergence of technologies, CAD/CAM will continue to evolve into an integrated environment that drives the entire company. No longer serving just design or production functions within the company, CAD/CAM will become an integral part of the company ‘intranet’, – feeding sourcing, merchandising and marketing processes that support the entire enterprise. Different technologies are used in the garments manufacturing to improve production.
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The technology trends that will drive textile designing include:
Proprietary software packages will give way to modular plug-ins-software solutions that are narrow in focus and designed to easily integrate with existing custom or off-the-shelf software.
3D body scanning:
3D laser scanning interpreted into accurate 2D flat patterns will become a viable entity in the industry. This technology will enable a proper fit of a garment and will fuel the end of mass production and excessive retail inventories. In their second generation, body scanners will be combined with video display and will enable the customer to ‘tryon’ sized-to-fit virtual garments.
As we enter the technology age of mass customization, CAD/CAM technology will become a driving force in the sales and marketing of apparel.
Training the users:
Three areas of CAD/CAM technology that will have increased focus in the next five years are: ease-of-use, system self-diagnostics and the U§e of knowledge-based technology. Applications expand to smaller companies with fewer technical resources. The human interface with CAD/CAM systems must become simpler and more efficient and future equipment will have the ability to train the people who are using it. The technology, called computer-based training (CBT) will continue to rapidly develop and expand in the years to come.
Similarly a built-in self-diagnostics will help users determine why a machine may be operating improperly. Users will be able to deal with many equipment malfunctions quickly, thus minimizing downtime. The need for less outside service support will also reduce total operating cost.
A further extension of CBT and self-diagnostics will be the need and ability for CAD/CAM equipment to actually acquire knowledge about what functions it is doing. For example, some systems of textile designing can now acquire, over time, the correct settings for different types of fabrics, ply heights and marker designs that will allow the cutter to achieve a desired quality at the maximum speed. The knowledge of how to operate the machine thus ‘stays’ with the machine.
Off-the-shelf software catering to small design houses:
Due to the emergence of powerful desktop systems, the apparel industry now enjoys a greater choice than ever. But these come at a high price and small design houses, cannot afford them. To resolve this, many firms are employing off-the-shelf graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.Despite there features these programs don’t offer specific tools for apparel and textile designing.
Create and integrate:
The products are designed for the apparel industry, their concepts and different stages of design are covered, from volume to style, from the collection to the garment, from the garment to the component piece. The guiding principles behind the development of the new CAD range incorporates multimedia and the Internet – information technologies that are no longer solutions for the future but features of everyday practice.
Design tools that offer maximum flexibility and guarantee the quality and consistency of the processes are needed for the industry today. Some tools allow users to recreate an environment identical to their traditional one. Some can produce markers only one to two percent less efficiently than those of an experienced marker person.
The key to the future is compatibility. To maintain continuity and reduce problems, new systems should be created that accommodate the old.