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CAD/CAM for Fashion and Clothing Designing
Drawing in CAD
CAD/CAM in Fashion and Clothing Designing
Fashion designing is a field which is making waves now-a-days. Clothing construction and designing is on the other hand another broad business which encompasses many distinctive areas. As with other fields of life fashion designing too has been influenced a lot from the advances in computer technology. Today most of the big guns in the fashion and clothing business depend on the use of computerized technologies in performing regular and unique tasks. The manual methods of designing and clothing construction have been taken by digital technologies. These technologies have made the tasks easier, faster, cheaper (in some areas), better and reliable. With the passage of time its demand is increasing and ten years from now computer aided systems will be the only possible way to do tasks. Companies who will not be equipped with such technologies will be unable to survive.
In spite of great demand of computer technology in fashion and clothing areas, a very limited literature is found on it. Basically clothing and fashion industry utilizes CAD/CAM technologies. CAD is short for Computer Aided Designing and CAM for Computer Aided Manufacturing. These two technologies have revolutionalized the fashion business.
Applications of CAD/CAM:
There are varied and wide applications of CAD/CAM in fashion designing. Almost any and every machine can be interfaced with computer to work smartly and efficiently. Uses of CAD/CAM technologies in fashion designing can be illustrated better by knowing the steps of clothing construction and fashion designing, because in each step use of CAD/CAM can improve the process.
The idea or concept generation is usually the first step in fashion designing. The idea can come from anywhere. A smart idea may lead to smart product; therefore the designer may usually give much more time to this step in order to bring positive results. Sometime the idea may come within an hour or two otherwise it may take days and weeks to think before act.
In general a designer can get from computer by taking inspiration from large database that is available on internet. Images, videos, text and other sources on internet can help a designer in generating ideas, taking inspiration and designing better collections. Previously designers took inspirations from books, travelling, places and people etc. today all of these things are available on internet and the designer does not need to go places to take decision about the idea behind each collection.
CAD specifically helps designer in concept generation because while the designer is working on any concept he needs to draw and illustrate each of his thought and drawing in CAD is much easier than on paper. By drawing concepts he can give life to his thoughts and can better understand what’s better and what’s not. Although this does not mean that people who do not know anything about drawing and are least creative can become designer by using CAD; it only means that CAD enhances the potential of the designer and brings to light what was thought improbable.
After the designer is sure about the idea behind his collection he needs to draw sketches of the dresses and accessories. The designer starts drawing from rough sketches which he later needs to trim in order to decide about the final sketches. Sketching is one of the most important steps in designing because the designer has to work through his creativity and knowledge of the trends in order to create something unique yet acceptable. Every designer must have to be a very good illustrator. In most of the fashion designing institutes sketching is taught to the students from the very beginning of the course and till the end to master all the skills and to become qualified illustrator.
CAD has made sketching faster and easier but the major advantage of using CAD in sketches comes from the many handy tools that are available in CAD software that are unable to be used in manual drawing method. Varieties of softwares are available today for fashion sketching and it is not too much to say that a person who has never learnt sketching on computer can easily work with them because they are so explanatory and there are so many tutorials available many of them are free. In CAD the designer can draw and erase and than again draw and erase and mix ‘n match and do and redo. These are only few of the advantages of using CAD for sketching as the designer starts using CAD instead of manual method he becomes acquainted with loads of other advantages too.
When production starts the designer or the producer of the garments visualizes in mind the final product, how it will look and if there are any flaws in the sketches he can modify them. Not all designers have good vision and therefore most of them cannot foresee the end-product and the final product may prove a ruin.
Today there are softwares which can enable designer to design the 3-D image of the product on computer screen and see the pros and cons of his idea. This technology is being used by so many fields because of its huge scope and benefits. The designer can design the whole dress with prints, colors, trims, accessories and embellishments on computer to look for any flaws in it.
Machines which cut, sew, grade and mark fabrics can be interfaced with computer to work efficiently. The time taken to finish each of these tasks is reduced in this way and even less labor is required because a single person can handle these machines; whereby in manual methods large number of labor is required to cut, sew or grade fabric.
The designer might promote his product himself or he may hire a promotional company for this purpose. There are so many ways in which he can promote the product and get publicity too. He can design billboards, invitation cards for the fashion show, dress tags, carry bags, advertisement for print and electronic media, pamphlets, brochures, catalogues, and posters etc.
There are various CAD softwares which can easily support designing such promotional items and contain many interactive tools too. Designing graphics in CAD is manifold easier than in manual method.