So you have a problem with your design?
Let us guess, you have a concept for a compelling and unique product, but have no idea how to take this product from design to the end of the manufacturing process in a timely, cost-efficient method. Are we close?
The first step to getting your product to market is mastering the use of 3D design. Accurate designs created in a 3D environment are the best starting place for any concept. By working in 3D you are setting your product up for quick and efficient automation of nearly every other step in production.
And with the right tools, this process change doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, when all is said in done a 3D enabled process should help yield a greater net-profit than if you were to attempt the entire manufacturing process using old-school 2D design to production methods.
Capturing the Design Intent.
If your design is on paper the first thing you’ll want to do is move the design into 3D CAD software. Why? Because the use of a 3D design model has been proven to be the best way to communicate design intent and to manage design changes through the entire enterprise.
In the past “3D CAD” has been an intimidating concept for those technologically averse as it was used primarily in larger engineering and manufacturing companies. Today, 3D CAD solution providers focus on delivering technology that is highly user friendly for any level of technical understanding.
Still unsure if you need or can master 3D CAD programs?
Short training courses for CAD specific programming are available online for almost every CAD software provider. Additionally ExactFlat offers a MasterClass that can teach you and your team exactly how to use your 3D CAD software with ExactFlat software to convert 3D designs into ready to manufacture 2D flattened patterns.
Managing Design Challenges
Challenge 1: Ensuring design intent. The greatest challenge in this category is that designers often finish the concept and then give up all control of the final design to the production team. With 3D CAD it’s easy to identify key aspect of the design. Like where the seams need to go or exactly how you want the flaps or zippers to attach.
Challenge 2: Making design changes. While 3D CAD helps create and communicate the design the real power appear when changes are made. Image this, you’ve spent hours working to refine your idea, then just before you plan to proudly share the completed sketch or drawing you realize there’s a mistake. How long does it take to clean up and check and double check all of the documents? With 3D CAD you make one change and the change is reflected in all of the sketches, drawing and production materials instantly. That’s the power of 3D CAD.
Challenge 3: Estimating costs during the design process. In industries that are characterized by a fast moving retail environment where designs must be efficiently produced, accurately predicting costs at the early stage of the process is an absolute must. To determine costs at this level often there is a need for
- A complete view of the design and all of the required components
- An understanding of the impact of planned manufacturing and assembly processes
- Details regarding the amount, cost and availability of necessary materials
In the soft goods industry the answer to these challenges starts with 3D CAD and ends with ExactFlat.
ExactFlat Software Features to Answer Design Challenges:
- Allows changes made in the 3D design to be seen and updated in the 2D Pattern
- Captures fabrication and assembly instructions directly on the pattern drawings .
- Computes manufacturing and materials costs and provides “what if?” tools to aid in optimizing both.
Register for This Weeks Webinar
Presented By Cliff Brown:
VP o Business Solutions
& Pattern Design Expert
Register for This Weeks Webinar
How to Create a Pattern That Fits in Less Than 10
Minutes Without Spending Thousands of Dollars
on Iterations, Erros or Production Problems
Thursday April, 6th at 1pm PST
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As an “old dog,” I was anxious and a bit apprehensive of the new tools, but with a bit of help I was able to get up and running while saving time with ExactFlat in just a few hours. I still rely on the old-ways from time to time, but I’m now finding new projects to apply the automated pattern making process to every day.”
-Tim Kennedy, Christian Workshop