3D Virtual Pattern Design version 4.0 marks a turning point in the product line available from Canadian software supplier PAD System, and will be launched at the IMB 2000 exhibition taking place in Cologne, Germany at the end of May. According to the company, major changes to the modular layout of the different applications will make it possible to visualise, in real time, pattern piece development. This means that a 3D image will change automatically as the pattern maker develops a model in two dimensions. With the new version, piece inter-dependency will also become a basic function of the pattern making process, so the system will automatically update all modifications made during pattern development to the cloned production pieces. This should mean an end to the redefining of pattern pieces being brought into the cutting room. To complete its family of modules, PAD plans to release an OBDC compatible relational database to allow management to follow production progress in real time. Also in real time, the link between pattern design and production will enable all changes to be replicated automatically in a related marker. The user can connect a marker to a pattern, thus allowing for an immediate calculation of fabric consumption.On the mass customisation front, PAD System will introduce advances to pattern and marker modification through easy input of customers' specifications. This allows manufacturers and designers to work more efficiently from locations around the world using the Internet. Closer to home, PAD System users will also have the opportunity to create their own, custom-made software and this, in turn, will allow PAD System to respond to their individual needs. An all in one standard workstation is also being introduced to allow the operator to work on a basic PC or MAC in all modules simultaneously.