Fashion technology provider Tukatech has introduced what it claims is the first virtual digitising and home plotting/printing system for the apparel industry. 

The new features, accessible through TUKAcad subscription, allow users to digitise patterns on any flat screen and print them at home. 

"As people continue to work from home due to Covid-19, these new features become significant for designers and pattern makers. They can easily equip themselves with a complete end-to-end solution without the bulk. One CAD system, a monitor and a printer are all you need," says Sean Kim, director of technical services at Tukatech.

Users can access the Virtual Digitizer in TUKAdesign (pattern making and grading system) to trace physical patterns using a flat screen monitor in place of a digitising board. Digital photos or scans of patterns can also be imported for a more flexible workspace.

Plotting is also now possible with any home printer. The new printing tool breaks the pattern pieces across a grid of standard-sized pages. A simple layout guide shows where to join the pages, at which point the pattern pieces can be cut out with scissors. 

"Since the start of Tukatech in 1995, my focus has and remains to simplify the product development process," says Ram Sareen, founder and CEO of Tukatech. "The virtual digitiser and home plotting features not only simplify the process but put less strain on those strapped with cash and do not have a digitiser or a plotter in their current budget. This is an affordable and quality option for home businesses to help run their business." 

The move follows the launch of what the firm says is the world's first fully automatic pattern making and grading software – Tuka-APM.

The company is also providing patterns for sewn medical products like face masks, hospital gowns, shoe covers, coveralls, blankets, to help manufacturers shifting their focus to manufacturing PPE.

Click here to read how 3D virtual design and tools are helping fashion businesses to stay on track.