Current Technology and Industry Challenges
Traditionally, all the CAD applications available on market, for developing patterns in apparel & flexible goods industry, are divided into two fundamentally different groups, based on the way the patterns are constructed. Of course, before this moment nobody cared to name these groups, so let’s just use two made-up names:
- The Extracted Shapes group refers to CAD applications which use a process of drawing the patterns by lines and contours, fixed on the page, and extract surfaces defined by the intersection of these lines. The important advantage of this method is that changes in the shape or position of the original lines are reflected automatically in the shape of all extracted surfaces (patterns), maintaining a link between shapes and helping the designer to speed-up the design process. The huge down-side is that the entire design environment is no longer a free, intuitive space, in which to play with patterns, move, rotate, overlap, and generally have this “cardboard pattern” feeling, highly appreciated by users of the second group of applications.
- The Cardboard Shapes group usually refers to modern CAD applications which use a process of drawing individual patterns by geometrical methods, and once such pattern is a closed contour it becomes a “piece”, providing a total freedom to play with it on the design surface, just like a piece of cardboard. The feedback from the market clearly shows that users are enjoying this way of working much more, because it is very similar to the natural way of handling patterns. However, the downside of this method is that it is very difficult to create and maintain links between parts. As part of this group of applications, Gemini Pattern Editor tried in its past versions to overcome most of this setback, by adding linked grading, linked measurements and other features. However, the bases of the application did not allow to attack the main goal: to automatically change the shape of a piece when its sister piece is altered.
None of our competitors of both groups showed results in joining these two approaches, nor to eliminate the downsides of each.
Gemini Pattern Designer X19 version is based on a totally new and innovative geometrical platform, which enables for the first time a very simple yet incredibly difficult task: to merge the “surface extraction” method with the “cardboard shape” method, and therefore to unify the main benefits from both of them: automation in altering the shape of linked pieces and total freedom to manipulate parts on the design surface.
How It Works?
Gemini Pattern Designer X19 maintains its traditional approach: patterns must be clear individual parts, just like cardboard parts. The user can feel the pattern, move it, rotate it, flip it, play with it in any way. But on top of this, Gemini also added the feature of extracting surfaces from the intersection of several lines or contours. The trick is that extracted surfaces become cardboard parts, and behave similarly to any other piece, no matter how the user rotates or repositions them on screen.
These combined features open the way for three design approaches within one single CAD application:
- To build an array of construction lines and to extract surfaces from it in a pure “surface extraction” way
- To build individual pieces and to work in a pure “cardboard shapes” way
- OR to build individual pieces, construction lines and to combine the two methods at a totally new level of automation
Users of each environment (extraction or cardboard) are usually very keen to their advantages: some want automation the others want freedom, and they are not prepared to give-up their way of working. This was one of the most important obstacle for users of older CAD applications to upgrade to a modern solution. Now, this obstacle is completely eliminated.