Can 3D Virtual Prototype Conquer the Apparel Industry?
A scenario of an apparel industry without paper fashion drawings which become patterns and then cut and sewn fabric to end up to a prototype is too optimistic. A future scenario of a fashion designer comfortable enough with 3D technology to create from the beginning that initial fashion drawing in a three-dimensional space making quick decisions, trying out different fabrics, colors and contrasts, communicating his/her ideas with the pattern maker and the entire development team in true to life 3D and within hours instead of days or weeks, sounds exciting but for some, science fiction. Threedimensional (3D) technology - while well established in many other industrial sectors like automotive, aerospace, architecture and industrial design, has only just started to open up a whole range of new opportunities for apparel designers.
The paper will discuss the process of 3D simulation technology enhanced by high quality visualization of data and its capability to ensure a massive competitiveness in the market. Secondly, it will underline the most frequent problems & challenges that occur in the process chain when various partners in the production of textiles and apparel are working together. Finally, it will offer a perspective of how the Virtual Prototyping Technology will make the global textile and apparel industry change to a level where designs will be visualized on a computer and various scenarios modeled without even having to produce a physical prototype. This state-of-the-art 3D technology has been described as transformative and “disruptive” comparing to the process of the way apparel companies develop their fashion products today. It provides the benefit of virtual sampling not only for quick testing of design ideas, but also reducing process steps and having more visibility. The so called “digital asset” can be used for other purpose such as merchandising or marketing.