The fashion industry has seen increased pressure to enable shorter development cycles, faster time to market and reduced waste. Because of these growing demands, clothing brands and retailers are looking to harness the power of 3D virtual design and prototyping tools.
This will allow for quick wins across a variety of areas, including:
However, one key benefit of these tools that’s rarely discussed is the ability for apparel designers to visualize products prior to manufacturing them. 3D virtual prototypes can revolutionize the fashion design process, particularly around research and development.
Streamlining the R&D Process With 3D Virtual Design
Without the help of in-depth visualizations, designers may not be entirely certain about what customers want when manufacturing clothing or accessories. But by using 3D models of these products, designers can develop virtual prototypes they can show to customers early in the design process before manufacturing begins.
This helps ensure that both the customer and designer are on the same page.
Designers can show these visuals to customers in a traditional setting like a focus group. But the fastest route to understanding whether customers will click “buy” is by showcasing these designs on their website, social media channels and digital ads.
If customers express interest in these designs, brands can focus more on refining the 3D virtual design before the final version is produced. Subsequently, designers will experience more comfort knowing that they’re giving people what they want.
On the other hand, if customers don’t show interest in one or more designs, brands will be able to save time and money by eliminating those from their lineups or making the appropriate changes.
Due to these advantages, brands and designers will have the chance to satisfy their customers more easily and make sure that the designs they produce lead to sales.
Benefits of 3D Visualization in the Fashion Industry
In addition to an improved R&D process, 3D virtual designs offer a few other advantages:
1. Cost and time savings
Ordinarily, product developers and engineers would have to physically produce a prototype to analyze a product’s performance.
The process was often challenging and took as long as several months to complete. It would also come with steep overhead costs that might not be worth it if the prototype underperforms.
Thanks to today’s 3D visualization capabilities, it’s possible to rapidly redesign, retool and recreate products. Apparel designers and brands can save a substantial amount of time and money.
2. Ease of collaboration across groups
Traditional prototypes are also far less efficient when collaborating with different teams. Digital prototypes are much easier to share with multiple stakeholders.
Designers and engineers will benefit greatly from the ability to create, share, and modify 3D designs all at once. They won’t need to pass them down from team to team.
This enables designers to make instant changes and request immediate feedback from stakeholders.
Following the design process and manufacturing, designers can easily go back to the original model. There, they can make any necessary adjustments to develop new versions.
For example, a customer may like the base design of a particular clothing item. But they want it in a different pattern, texture, or color.
With the help of detailed and accessible 3D models, the designer can instantly upload the materials to create that desired change. Once the design is in the system, designers can create infinite iterations without any need to go back to the drawing board.
Get the Most From Product Research and Market Testing
By incorporating 3D visualizations into the design and prototyping processes, designers, engineers, and brands can benefit from an invaluable asset that keeps every step consistently streamlined and painless.
Regardless of what your customers want, you can give it to them instantly. Even better, you can present it with high-fidelity visuals that best represent every iteration of the final product.
The author, Matt Gorniak, is CEO of Threekit, 3D and augmented reality visualization software for products.