Shaped Textile Digital Printing

Industry challenges, current technology, our breakthrough
 
The entire Digital Printing solution provided be Gemini CAD Systems is based on a proprietary technology capable to import, scale, imposition and print high-quality printable files such as EPS or PDF. This capability exists both in Gemini Pattern Designer as well as in Gemini Nest Expert modules.
 

Our Breakthrough 
 
The entire Digital Printing solution provided be Gemini CAD Systems is based on a proprietary technology capable to import, scale, imposition and print high-quality printable files such as EPS or PDF. This capability exists both in Gemini Pattern Designer as well as in Gemini Nest Expert modules.
 
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How It works ?
 
Using the ability to handle printable graphical content, the designer can use Gemini Pattern Designer to merge the Graphical content with the shapes designed and graded in the CAD application, nest these decorated shapes and send the result directly to a wide format printer and a cutter.
That means the entire workflow is actually changed, all pre-press operations are performed inside the apparel CAD environment provided by Gemini, benefitting of all typical automation tools specific to garments production, such as grading, checking, cut planning, nesting, etc.
The result of this process is a roll of nested printed shapes which must be cut. The technology in charge of this phase is VisionCUT. This system has the capability to scan the printed fabric, to identify the position and distortion of printed shapes and drive a single ply cutter to cut the parts perfectly, by compensating any distortion within a given set of rules and restrictions. The entire process is fully automatic, in a seamless in-line integration with the cutter.
 
What are the benefits?
 
For the first time, producers of digitally printed sportswear and other sewn goods can implement a fully automated workflow which reduces by up to 60% labour costs. Use of consumables such as transfer paper and printer time are reduced by up to 35%, while ink consumption is reduced by up to 10%. Quality in matching the sewn parts on any size is guaranteed and does not require any compromise. The entire process is also compatible with direct-to-fabric printing technology.

Workflow-1

An automated workflow for shaped textile printing
 

Mass Customization 
 
150 sets of t-shirts and shorts, baring clubs and sponsors logos, 5 pieces for each of the 30 players. All sets must be made to measure, each with its own number and name on the shirt. Gemini CAD can handle this order in a 100% automatized process, including printing and cutting.
The measurement tables (from a 3D scanner or manually read) will be processed by Gemini MTM plugin producing 30 individual sizes. The Style Selector module will read and replace on each t-shirt the graphical file containing the player’s number and name and place it on the front and back pieces of the t-shirt. For each type of fabric used in the order, Gemini Nest Expert will nest with high efficiency all pattern files containing the appropriate graphical content, and generate 2 files: one file for the digital printer (high quality printable PDF or EPS) and one file for the single ply cutter (ISO-CUT or HPGL).
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Main features 
 
The entire order will be printed on a single roll of paper. The paper usage efficiency (and printer operating time) will be very high, at apparel industry standards. The paper will be transferred to each fabric type in a roll-to-roll, labour-less process.
A single ply cutter featuring VisionCUT technology will cut the parts while compensating any printing or handling distortions. CutCollect will help the operator properly identify and collect the parts and to place it into the appropriate containers for sewing.
 
Graphics grading
 
Gemini CAD Systems can grade graphics position and dimension just like any other part of a garment. And it seems natural to want to do this. But when we introduced this feature for the first time (for example to make a logo maintain its ratio on a series of different size t-shirts) the feedback of customers was not as expected: most of them said “grading is not necessary, nobody wants to alter the dimensions of the graphical content”. This reaction was so strong because at all levels of the productions chain (beneficiaries, designers, manufacturers, etc.) this was a fundamental non-negotiable situation, caused not by real reasons, but simple because it was practically impossible before, and everybody ruled out this possibility without even wondering why.
So, we made a simple example, to illustrate how critical is graphics grading, and how it can dramatically change the quality of printed garments and reduce manufacturing costs.
 
Nesting direct to printing
 
Gemini Nest Expert includes the typical functions of any imposition software. The input can be patterns from Gemini Pattern Editor containing graphics or just simple, ready-to-print, EPS or PDF files. Advanced automatic nesting functions are available for both type of content.
The output of the process consists in two files: a ready-to-print PDF file which will go to the Raster Image Processor and cut file (ISO-CUT, PLT, HPGL, DXF) including matching information, which will go to the single-ply cutter. There is no need for any third-party software or plugin to process the graphics, Gemini will handle all the process.

Current Digital Printing Workflow
 
GEMINI Digital Printing Workflow
 
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Digital Printing is the newest addition to Gemini CAD’s portfolio of interests. We are focusing on solving a simple but very consistent problem: how to handle digital textile printing while performing typical apparel procedures such as grading or nesting.