What is the connection between 3D software and a PLM?
Patternmaker and 3D consultant Kitty Verdel from Pattern Solutions recommends starting your digital transformation by using a PLM and then incorporating 3D fashion software.
It’s great if you are already thinking about trying out 3D software, but are you already working with a PLM? Perhaps, first, you should think about managing your product development process using a PLM fashion software, and then involving 3D fashion software.
As Kitty, a 3D consultant at Pattern Solutions, explains: “A lot of brands that approach me about 3D are still working with Excel, for example. And that’s not a good thing in terms of product data. If they are already managing their product development process via a PLM platform the transition to 3D will be easier.”
“For example, when working with fabrics you can just export the data to the PLM system so that you don’t have to type everything in twice and have it more automated,” she adds.
Discovering the benefits of 3D software for pattern making
As a former patternmaker, Kitty from 3D Pattern Solutions is ideally experienced to guide companies through their transfer from 2D to 3D. Based in the Netherlands, she worked as a freelance patternmaker for a number of years, helping clothing companies to get a better fit for the clothes. She has already begun working with 3D fashion software before covid-19, but then interest really took off as it became difficult for brands to work with actual models and get photo samples. 3D made it simple to visualize the samples.
“I assist brands with making the transformation from using 2D to 3D in product development. I help them implement the 3D system, guiding them so they’re aware of all the processes that need to be changed and what libraries have to be set up. I don’t focus on how you can use 3D for sales and marketing, but more on the product development for a better fit and quality of the design,” explains Kitty.
Some companies continue to use traditional sketches, but experience has shown that things can often go wrong, as so much depends on the interpretation of the drawing. With 3D the designer can explore and try different things, such as the weight of the garments, the length, and the colours. If you are a supplier, receiving this information in 3D is more useful, and the sample will certainly be more accurate.
Shifting your designs from 2D to 3D
Kitty’s first recommendation is to raise the question: what do you want to do with 3D? Once you have a clear objective, she helps you to decide what kind of software you should buy, making sure it is the one that will adapt most to your needs.
For example, she argues that Clod3 is more for designers because it’s built with really nice visuals and it is an easy program to use, while Optitex is a good software that covers everything from the start to the end of the whole production.
“As a pattern maker, I like working with Optitex because it’s technical, but for designers, it might be too technical. There are a lot of things that you don’t need, like marker making. So it really depends on each company what adapts best.”
After choosing the software they build a roadmap that marks the transition time and how long it will take. 3D might indeed imply a big investment of time and money. However, Kitty is confident working with it will give companies a fast decision-making process that is more sustainable, whilst improving communication with suppliers.
Building trust with 3D software
There’s a need to build trust and understanding about how 3D works and produces results. Building the libraries in the software is important, as is carrying out tests in 2D and 3D to build an actual garment based on the 3D sample, so the designers can see how it turns out.
“Many ask how it is going to look in real life? And some designers express doubts about the length or the width. So we do a test to see that in the end the sample turns out to be the same or even better in 3D because of the accuracy of the data.”
To know more about getting started with 3D in your product development contact Pattern Solutions via their website.
Change your work, change your world
We are committed to helping companies achieve better, smarter work processes while increasing quality. Together with the industry, we change traditional processes by sharing our knowledge and training. We advise about the latest technology and developments and help organizations adapt to 3D.