Current Technology and Industry Challenges
Textile Digital Printing is made in at least three major ways: Raw Fabric Printing (producing quantities of fabric with repetitive motifs), Shaped Textile Printing (producing parts of garment printed and cut) and Direct-to-Garment Printing (adding various digital decoration to a ready-made-garment).
Shaped Textile Printing is widely used for producing parts needed in customized sportswear, advertising, home decoration and it is a sector where the level of automatization is incredibly low. The waste of materials and labor is huge. The most common classical workflow implies the use of two separate environments: CAD (an apparel specialized CAD) and Graphics (Illustrator or Corel, etc.), which merge usually by manually placing white cloth parts on a printed transfer paper.
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.
How It Works ?
Using the ability to handle EPS and PDF printable graphical content, the designer can use Gemini Pattern Designer X19 to merge the Graphical content with the shapes designed and graded in the CAD application, can 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, as all pre-press operations are performed inside the apparel CAD environment provided by Gemini, benefitting of all the 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 that 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% labor 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.