Here’s a full explanation of what we are trying to buy, and why each thing is important, and a supplement to the information on the indiegogo page.
Pattern Digitizer: $2,685
= Total: $22,300
Plotter/Large Format Printer:
Why exactly is all that necessary, you ask?
- The bare minimum that we need would be the digitizer plus the 2D PDS, which is why our fundraising goal is set to 15,000. That package will allow Volante Design to import hard-copy patterns into the computer, clean them up and make adjustments, create sizes, etc., and then ready the pattern for manufacturing.
- The 3D PDS is an add-on that enables the user to work with the 2D and 3D patterns side by side. The software is able to simulate cloth movement and drape, so you can see what a 2D pattern might look like when sewn together, and made pattern edits on the fly to either the 2D interface, or the 3D interface. The benefits of this are endless, as are the applications. With this we can create a pattern from a custom desisgn sketch and be able to show the customer what their garment might look like without having to cut a single piece of fabric. From there we can make adjustments as necessary. We can also create 3D representations of color schemes for a particular jacket that have not yet made it to production.
The software is also constantly in development, and something they are currently working on is a web interface, which would allow customers to plug in their measurements, and create a 3D avatar, which can then be viewed wearing any of our available jackets. This way you can see if you might fit better into a large, medium, x-large, and make an informed decision before making a purchase.
- With the animation add-on, we would be able to animate the avatars doing certain activities, to test for range of motion, etc., in each jacket. This also has some obvious marketing applications, involving animated sequences that might be relevant to the character a particular garment is based on, eg. the Kenway assassinating a Redcoat from a tree.
- A plotter is an important piece of equipment in pattern design, because once you have a digital pattern, you need to have a way of manifesting it physically. Small scale plotters are useful for custom work, because there will only be one or two made at a time, so having something that can print out each pattern piece in no particular order is all that is needed. But for manufacturers, a large scale plotter is necessary. Most rolls of fabric are 50” wide, and a manufacturer will cut through 50+ layers of fabric at a time, so they need to have a predetermined layout of how all of the patter pieces fit together, to increase cutting efficiency. Many manufacturers have their own large scale plotter, and while there are major benefits to having one’s own, it would be largely extraneous at this point, which is why we have not raised the fundraising goal to include it as a necessary piece of equipment.