The RTFS (Real Time Fashion System) Saga, Episode 3

How 3D fashion will impact our wardrobe

Too often, people tend to think of CAD as having primarily industrial applications. However, it’s important to remember that CAD refers to a wide range of design tools, surrounding a number of creative fields as well as the fashion industry, which has strongly felt the impact of the rise of CAD adaptation over the last few decades.

To stand out in a competitive fashion world, companies need to profit from uniqueness and technology. ELSE Corp, a Virtual Retail company from Milan, Italy, has a mission to support fashion companies in finding the right balance between design creativity, technology and process innovation and business profitability, with a new 3D CAD and Artificial Intelligence based product design process for fashion and design companies and customers, because the fashion industry is constantly seeking the latest technology to evolve and expand further the traditional “made to stock” operational models!

Upcoming and available technologies and advanced production management are making it easy for brands to have their own virtual customization capacity. There are multiple tools now available to help making the on-demand production more efficient than ever: 3D body scanning, digital manufacturing, 3D printing, dynamic supply chains and advanced logistics solutions. Digital printing is nowadays frequently used, and it’s becoming a huge part of the fashion industry. It enables brands to create any type of patterns and designs on the fabric surface.

As you may have read in the previous episodes, the industry, having seen the immense value that it brings, has acknowledged that this kind of revolution in fashion production needs to take place. With Industry 4.0 technologies, the availability of mass customization and on-demand production is increased because of the multiple tech advancements at every stage of the fashion cycle. To predict customers’ purchases, brands need to study the market and social media trends, since that became a huge part of people’s lives, to understand what the market needs, wants and enjoys. Even better to do it all in REAL-TIME.

At ELSE Corp we also believe that 3D printing could have tremendous effects on the industry’s desires. It has the potential to do great things, like creating shorter lead times for designers, offer the ability to produce things in smaller quantities, and create easy personalization.

To really get into the on-demand and custom field, it’s important to understand the technical challenges of just-in-time production. The boost of customization is linked with the rise of e-commerce, where people used to “risk” the purchase, since you can’t try their selected clothes or shoes on. Today, technology provides a decrease of returns. Businesses face immense difficulties related to returns and unwanted inventory. Bad return policies are unacceptable to a brand’s customer base, which leaves the brand with all kinds of problems since a brand wouldn’t want to risk tainting the customer’s experience with them. The risk is potentially higher with products that are made on demand and customized.

So, to avoid the possibility of customer dissatisfaction with a purchase, a brand could let their customer 3D visualize their customized end-product. By investing in producing perfect samples and featuring them in highly defined 3D models, the customer’s customization experience can improve by leaps and bounds. Because everyone knows one of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, of e-commerce, is the fit of the garments. Especially when a customer’s size doesn’t exactly fit into one of the pigeonholed standard sizes- as it happens for most of us!

That problem is solved thanks to body scanning & body analysis technologies, and CAD to Avatar 3D matching. Taking the right measurements and finding a perfect fit is as important as making the right product selection. With body scanners, digitized and advanced CAD 3D programs for fashion product design, it’s possible determining the best fit for an individual style and size. A 3D model of a customer is captured and the exact measurements are taken and the CAD pattern of their selected customized product could be adjusted to fit them perfectly.

The benefits of this:

  1. Cutting out problems of unsold stock and warehousing costs.
  2. Gaining direct customer feedback on their specific needs and customization preferences.
  3. Up to date with new fashion trends.
  4. The speed at which parts can be produced compared to traditional manufacturing methods

It’s easy to see why the industry must embrace CAD in the short term prospective. Using 3D CAD software, designers can create new sketches more quickly and more precisely, in a more flexible way. They can also easily adapt a single design to varying materials and patterns, understanding the attributes of the materials and seeing how they would react to movement. They can also build upon and alter existing designs to create new pieces. And all of this can be perfectly visualized and experienced without having to produce a physical prototype.

ELSE Corp’s vision of the Real-Time-Fashion System, is to have an open, CAD 3D based, AI driven, cloud-based fashion design & distribution platform for content creation and management, rendering and collaboration in different external environments. Body scanning and 3D-modelling techniques allow brands to design towards a perfect fit, and through minimal changes in the systems, the designer can create quick variations of adaptations in the design. This automated process could be a revolution in customized fashion pieces within ready to wear.

Crazy, right? More designers should implement this strategy. It brings so many benefits, especially for smaller designers that can’t deal with volume and other issues. It eliminates all the noise surrounding the design process and allows designers full freedom to experiment and get as creative as they can with their designs as the possibilities are boundless.

To know more about the REAL TIME FASHION SYSTEM:

The previous episodes of the Saga: Can Fashion be ever Sustainable? and Why Predictive matter?