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Frontier Bridges Gap Between 3D Design and Supplier Assets

Frontier, a collaboration software as a service (SaaS) designed to digitize fabric materials, enhance supply chain management and boost 3D design capabilities, has introduced a 3D Fabric Creator on its platform.

The 3D Fabric Creator uses AI technology to convert 2D scanned textile images into 3D design compatible assets. It generates essential texture maps needed for use in virtual prototyping, similar to a topographical relief map, so that 3D designers can import material files directly into any 3D design environment.

“Material scanning must be able to re-construct textural metadata, such as normal, roughness, displacement and physical values, so these datapoints can be used across different design platforms,” Moritz Sontheimer, Frontier AI specialist, said. “We have the luxury to build models from a very large and quality consistent data base, which allows us to continuously improve our accuracy.”

According to Frontier, there is a strong demand for Digital Product Creation (DCP) as more brands go to market with increasing speed. The 3D Fabric Creator generates essential datapoints of a fabric and allows users to share material data for use across different design systems.

Frontier, a collaboration SaaS designed to digitize fabric material and boost 3D design, has introduced a 3D Fabric Creator.
Frontier’s 3D Fabric Creator. Courtesy

As a result, brand designers no longer need to chase suppliers for digital materials or acquire digital materials through a third-party platform. This means the materials received from suppliers can be produced in bulk.

Frontier’s main objective is to work with the supply chain to help make digital 3D design as friendly as possible so that more brands can gain access to their digital materials. Frontier aims to bridge the technology gap between brands and supply chain using artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance all material relevant data from specs, text description, pattern description, fabric construction and material science through cloud applications.

Frontier, based in Taiwan, employs a user content generation model, so they have full control over product intellectual property and access. It also uses a pay-as-you-go model so there is no upfront investment.

“The apparel industry has finally opened up to the possibility of a broader implementation of 3D tech in the supply chain,” said Alexa Dehmel, owner of Innovative Design & Development Consulting. “Frontier’s 3D Fabric Creator is a great technology in bridging the gap between a brand’s design process and their suppliers’ digital assets.”