Thinking in 3D from the outset
From planning to the communications department, from design to production – Gerber Technologies have digitalised the entire workflow and see, in the digital printing of textiles, more creativity, greater flexibility and faster marketing, providing advantages for both designers and production professionals.
“Digital printing is the key to optimising the workflow,” stresses Yvonne Heinen-Foudeh in her lecture for the Texprocess Forum. “This trade fair has clearly shown that companies are really getting to grips with the whole issue of 3D.” The journey to whole-scale digitalisation – in other words, to integrating new software for linking individual stages in a process – always needs adaptation, she admits. “Not everything is right for every company. Feel free to challenge us to find the right individual solution!” The market is still working with lots of unconnected solutions, but new approaches can be combined with existing practices. At all events, it would reduce the period from the initial sketch of an item of fashion to its hanging in the wardrobe to just a few days; this has already been shown to be a reality by major players such as ASOS and Zara. € 7.5 billion are now being spent on sample goods. A sum that can be easily halved, says Heinen-Foudeh. On average, 5.1 samples are currently being manufactured for each item, before it sees the production line.
The younger generation is already thinking in 3D, she claims. For those who have reservations we need good-quality training programmes. For, where new technologies are concerned, it’s not about pretty pictures, but about better fit, time and cost savings – not least in terms of the environment. 3D simulation, the transposition from 2D to 3D and back, as well as sizing, are things that can now be successfully done with little effort. Printing, patterns, stitching and surfaces can be specified on the spot and in a spirit of trial and error. You can see, in a virtual fashion show, how fabrics hang. “It won’t be long,” prophesies Heinen-Foudeh, “before we have our own avatar with our favourite online supplier, so that we can see in advance, how well a dress or a blouse fits and suits us, which means that we can then order exactly the right clothes for us.”