CAD/CAM company Assyst/Bullmer has made the leap from conventional 2D cut design (cad.assyst) to 3D visualisation as part of a joint development project with the German Fraunhofer Institute for Graphic Data Processing.

Using 'vidya' the pattern maker can visualise new designs on a virtual dummy in the desired size and in a variety of adjustable poses, and examine the behaviour of the fabric on the wearer's body.

Colour-coding instantly shows where fit problems lead to undesirable fabric stretching, where seams must still be corrected, or where the drape needs to be improved.

A tape measure and virtual pins provide the vidya user with familiar tools to pin together pattern sections and make measurements. The pattern maker can alter the 2D pattern pieces, and then view the changes in 3D, allowing pattern problems to be corrected whilst still in virtual form.

The display of the virtual pattern is depicted as close to reality as possible, supported by a database in which the material parameters and characteristics are stored by fabric type (denim, silk, corduroy etc).

Processing parameters such as seam type, top stitching, as well as weave and strain resistance due to the addition of padding or additional seams, are all included in the simulation.

Assyst/Bullmer hopes vidya will enable prototyping to not only become a time-lapse process, but that it can lead to cost savings in the creation of a new style and subsequent alterations.

By Niki Tait.