MCAD Tech News (#294)

11 Nov, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

How Can Apparel Companies Use 3D Software to Streamline Sample Development?

Digital models can help clothing manufacturers create and market their products more effectively than physical samples.

By Ram Sareen

Technology advancements have allowed companies in virtually every industry to streamline their product development processes, and the apparel industry is no exception. Time-consuming and costly processes such as pattern making, pattern grading, and marker making can all now be done with the help of design software. But what about sample development — one of the most time-consuming and costly components of product development? Well, now 3D technology offers the apparel industry several opportunities to streamline their sample-development processes. By producing digital 3D samples, apparel companies can save time and money, better meet buyer demands, and more quickly respond to consumer trends.

It's no secret that the majority of apparel manufacturing happens outside of the United States. And while apparel companies save production costs by sourcing to overseas manufacturers, they lose quite a bit of time in the product development process. But, of course, apparel companies cannot simply stop producing samples. So, how can they increase efficiency and lower production costs while still producing quality samples? One answer lies in 3D software.

The entire engineering world has been using 3D software for about a decade to design 3D prototypes of everything from cars to computer chips, and this technology has finally come to the apparel industry. Instead of building physical samples from real fabric and shipping them to the design house, manufacturers and designers can work digitally to make a 3D virtual sample of the garment. Draped pieces of 3D fabric are sewn together inside of the 3D software, and a fabric simulation is applied to realistically reproduce the proper drape and fit. Read more »

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Ram Sareen is the CEO and founder of Tukatech, a provider of apparel industry software including the TUKA3D virtual sample-making system.


Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Scaling Images in Autodesk Inventor

You can use a 2D image as the basis of your next 3D model, but only if you know how adjust the image to full scale.

By Rusty Belcher

Many 3D projects start off with a single picture or digital image. These images are often inserted into the CAD program and used as the initial 2D design for the eventual 3D model. Designers commonly encounter problems, however, when trying to build a 3D model from a 2D image. It is very difficult — or impossible — to adjust the size of the image to full scale.

In this tutorial, I will demonstrate the process of adjusting the size of a digital image to full scale in Autodesk Inventor. Before we start this process, it's important to note that you can never truly make a picture or digital image full scale. You can get close, but 100 percent accuracy is not possible. The accuracy of this process is based on the quality and resolution of the image being used; higher quality and higher image resolution will increase the level of accuracy.

Inserting an Image into an Inventor Sketch

The process starts in an Inventor Sketch. I have my Inventor application open and I am working on the first sketch of my part. I will use the Image command to select and insert the desired digital image. You can link the image to the part file, but in this case I will clear this default option and embed the image. Read more »

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Rusty Belcher is a senior applications engineer for Avatech Solutions.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


Webcast: The Truth About Environmental Performance Software
November 18, 2010
9 a.m. PT
Do the tools available today effectively support the lifecycle thinking that results in innovative, profitable, earth-friendly products? How does a company determine which environmental performance software is the best choice? The third presentation in Cadalyst's On the Edge webcast series will answer these and other questions you should be asking your organization — and the software providers. Read more »

Autodesk University 2010
November 30–December 2, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
This learning and networking event is intended for Autodesk product users and design professionals. The event will include product-specific and industry-focused classes, hands-on labs, and free certification exams. Read more »

Siemens PLM Connection Americas User Conference 2011
May 2–5, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual event, organized by PLM World with support from Siemens, is designed to help attendees prepare their PLM investment for the future, learn from Siemens PLM Software's developers in hands-on training sessions, and network with other PLM users and gain real-world user feedback. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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