Know What You Wear

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Importance of CAD in Textile Designing

What is CAD?
The term CAD stands for computer-aided design and is defined as the use of information technology in the design process. The CAD system is usually a combination of hardware and specifically designed software. The hardware includes graphic devices and their peripherals for input and output opera­tions, while the software package manipulates or analyzes shapes according to user interaction. The core of a CAD system is its software, which takes input from product designer, makes use of graphics for storing the product model, and drives the peripherals for product presentation. Use of CAD does not change the nature of design process but aids the product designer. Most of the CAD software packages have the provision to create three-dimensional (3D) models that can be rotated and viewed from any angle. These state-of-the-art modeling CAD packages help architects, engineers, and designers in their design activities.

CAD in textile design
Figure-1: CAD in textile design
Why CAD is Essential in Fashion and Textile Designing:
Weaving or knitting is a technique for producing a two-dimensional fabric made from a one-dimensional yarn or thread. In weaving, threads are always straight, running parallel either lengthwise (warp threads) or crosswise (weft threads). By contrast, the yarn in knitted fabrics follows a meandering path (a course), forming symmetric loops (also called bights) symmetrically above and below the mean path of the yarn.

Textile and fashion industry face significant challenges to remain competitive in today's industry, including supplying innovative collections at the right price, controlling margins, designing personalized garments, enhancing brand image, building customer loyalty and expanding business horizons. These challenges by combining its CAD/CAM and 3D technologies with Internet tools to provide optimal data communication capabilities, as well as a complete suite of fully scalable solutions for meeting all requirements, from collection design to visual merchandising through production.

CAD has brought a revolution in the textile and fashion industry. The time consuming and cumbersome process of textile designing has been made easier by CAD. By using CAD software technology, fashion designer can easily create different types of clothing design within a very short period of time.

The CAD facilitates the product designer by providing the following:
  • Graphical representation of product
  • Easy modification of graphical representation
  • Record the whole design and processing history
  • Complex design analysis using finite element method
The graphical representation is so accurately generated that the user can nearly view the actual product on the screen. The design is easily modifiable, and it helps the designer to present his ideas on screen without any proto­type. In addition, using certain analysis tools (e.g., finite element methods), the user can perform mechanical, heat transfer, fluid flow or motion analysis, etc. for design optimization.

The CAD systems help to reduce the design and development time of a particular product. Figure-2 provides a representation of the generalized design process. Shorter the development time of a product, earlier it can be introduced in the market, and the product may have an extended life span if the built-in quality of it is up to the mark. In addition, the CAD systems also enable the application of concurrent engineering and have substantial impact on the cost, functionality, and quality of final product.

Figure-2: A generalized traditional design process
One of the initial applications of CAD was for 2D drafting, but the current focus is on the 3D solid and illustration of the real part. The CAD pack­ages have the ability to model the complete assemblies and analyze a virtual prototype for its performance. The 3D illustration can also be exported to other analysis/representation programs, and it can serve as a communica­tion medium between people from different departments of an organization.

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