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Limitations of CAD/CAM systems for Product Development

One of the main reason why many retailers need physical samples is because it is impossible to give approval for production by looking at a digital or a graphic design on the computer and when it comes to making high level decisions in fashion the physical element, appearance and aesthetics etc. of a garment are very important factors that needs to be considered. There are many limitations of the current software’s available for designers for fashion design. Some of them are listed below.

  • Colours seen on all of the above systems are from pantone colour palette and therefore will not be the same colour once a fabric, trim or style is manufactured.
  • Fabric patterns and trims on almost all the softwares are graphics designs and will not appear as the same once the bulk fabric and trims are produced.
  • All the systems are suitable only for non-wash garments and not for washed garments.
  • Designers will only be able to view the product visually on the system. Designers, Buyers, Merchandiser, and Technologist will not be able to physically feel or touch the product until they receive a physical sample of the product.
  • There is no guarantee that a pattern made on the system is feasible in bulk production as there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as – Shrinkage levels, Infrastructure availability etc.
  • The Draping method on the system is only a graphic design and cannot be considered as accurate as it is only a mathematical calculation and will not represent the bulk fabric draping method. The Optitex and Gerber fabric draping system looks more realistic than the Tuka system.
  • The 3D models on all systems look very artificial and the catwalk on the system cannot show an accurate movement as it would be if it was an actual model.
  • The above system cannot be used to finalize measurements for a fit sample of a program due to the above limitations. This is why many fashion retailers still request for physical samples at each sampling stages


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