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Tech | September 2014

Virtual product development in textiles

Virtual product development (VPD) is the practice of developing and prototyping products in a completely digital 2D/3D environment, affirm Rajanna L Gotipamul, Dhange Vaibhav and Vivek Chilveri.

Designing is a complex process in textile, which cannot be described as a simple sequence of activities or as a computer algorithm. A suitable framework for describing design comprises three levels of resolution such as (i) product analysis for understanding, (ii) product synthesis based on technical requirements and (iii) product development based on organisational expectation. Problem solving is related to finding and deciding on an solution to a given problem. A complex problem is an open-type problem which may have a many possible solutions, as opposed to a closed-type problem with one or two solution that can found by calculation. The goal of product development is not the product itself but also involves market research, sales and promotion. With increasing international competition and pressure to reduce lead time, activities must be performed in parallel to ensure successful product development. These concepts are embodied in new design strategies such as integrated product development, simultaneous engineering or concurrent engineering. Integrated product development strategy is illustrated in Figure . The starting point of the process of integrated product development is need to be fulfilled. The process is divided into five phases to be fulfilled in sequence by the joint forces of marketing, product design and production.

Traditional design procedure
In traditional design, as shown in figure, the market expert formulates the rough concept of fabric requirements. A typical manual design procedure for

The experts in textile design procedure
The technology of artificial intelligence (AI) and expert systems (ES) enables computers to be applied to less determined design tasks, which require symbolic manipulation and reasoning instead of routine processing. ES can be used to diagnose, repair, monitor, analyse, consult, plan, design, instruct, explain, learn and conceptualise problems. ES provide powerful tools for solving problems such as design and are very suitable for database manipulation and decision making.

  • General CAD
  • Knit CAD
  • Weave CAD
  • Fashion CAD
  • Print CAD

Knit CAD
In addition to the generic CAD software applicable to all designers, it also has specialist CAD packages for knitwear designers. This software enables designs to be developed and knitting instructions to be sent to the knitting machines to control production. The software also allows designs to be simulated in 3D and printed.)

Weave CAD
This is specialist ´Scotweave´ software that enables the development of complex weave structures. The software simulates the structure and also produces peg plans and lifting plans for the designer simplifying the weave process and helping to guarantee the intended result.

Fashion CAD
The fashion CAD suite is specifically dedicated to fashion design, pattern making, lay planning and fashion production. It contains:

  • Adobe CS5 suite
  • Lectra, Kaledo Style illustration software
  • Modaris pattern drafting, modification and grading software
  • Diamino marker planning and fabric utilisation software
  • 2 large format digitisers
  • 1 large format pattern plotter

Print CAD
Most of print designers routinely use Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator to develop their images. These images may then be fed directly to the digital printer if ap

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