Fashion technology provider Tukatech has developed a 3D sample maker that helps increase productivity by creating a "mini render farm" for tasks such as garment draping, image and video rendering, and object exporting.

Typically, a 3D sample-maker creates a virtual sample from a CAD pattern by stitching, draping, and simulating motion before applying colourways and rendering images and videos for design and fit analysis. Through Tukatech's new technology, the operator can save settings at each step and send them to the Tuka3D SmartQueue to process for every graded size.

The Tuka3D SmartQueue utilises centralised computer networking to allocate the tasks to whichever computer in the network is available for processing. Upon completion, the work is saved on the server, ready to view, upload, and share digitally.

"The challenges we discussed with our customers were related to the increasing demand for 3D garments throughout the development process," says Savannah Crawford, chief collaborator at Tukatech. "Technicians want to see virtual size sets, designers want to see full collections, and online retailers want to use 3D renders for e-commerce. Tuka3D SmartQueue will increase sample-makers' productivity and help them accomplish these goals without putting extra pressure on them."

Photo-realistic imagery is vital to successfully use 3D virtual development all the way through to e-commerce, the company says. However high quality renders for these images can take a long time to process. To overcome this challenge, Tukatech said it looked to film industry practices for inspiration. "The film industry has been using render farms for CGI output for years. Now 3D sample-makers will have their own on-site "mini render farms" to maximise productivity while achieving beautiful 3D garments," explains Iva Sareen, president of Tukatech.

Because these tasks are processed automatically in the background, Tuka3D SmartQueue reduces the need for human intervention in the virtual development process and frees up computing power for 3D sample-makers to start work on the next style. This will be a benefit for designers since it "will take care of a lot of the repetitive tasks, leaving users more time to focus on the creative aspects of digital design," according to the company.