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How Centric PLM Helps Brands Embrace 3D Design

It’s clear 3D design software has gained a foothold in the apparel industry. And it’s largely because fashion brands like that designing in 3D can help them pivot on style, fit and pattern decisions quickly, as well as reduce the number of physical samples they need to create, keeping their operations lean.

Some clothing companies even use more than one 3D design software, depending on the use case. That reality is what has prompted Centric Software, which makes product lifecycle management software for more than 1,000 fashion, footwear, outdoor, luxury and retail brands, to develop a 3D design and development workflow that integrates with several of the most-used 3D fashion software programs on the market, starting with Browzwear, CLO and EFI Optitex.

Centric vice president of product Ron Watson said Centric began piloting a Browzwear integration earlier this year before expanding to CLO and EFI Optitex, noting that securing user feedback helped “provide the right expected value and benefits.”

“Our experience with leading brands and retailers led us to the conclusion that they use more than one single 3D solution and will continue to do so,” Watson said.

Centric highlighted the many ways its 3D Connectors can facilitate fashion development workflows. Not only can they reduce time to market and trim development costs, but they’re also able to enhance product innovation and reduce a brand’s environmental footprint, according to Centric.

What’s more, the company said the 3D Connectors improve efficiency for brands embracing personalization or specializing in made-to-measure “by automatically updating product designs and fit via virtual samples” and offering photorealistic images to customers before their orders move into production, reducing the opportunity for “buyer’s remorse” post purchase.

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Steve Chastain, vice president, head of global IT for boardsports lifestyle brand Volcom, agrees with the idea that it’s not uncommon for apparel companies to deploy multiple 3D design platforms. “In recent years, innovative fashion and apparel brands have begun leveraging 3D technology because it can offer so many crucial benefits,” he said.

“Depending on the goals and the type of product being developed, many 3D systems are often used to produce the desired result,” Chastain continued. “Pursuing a 3D-agnostic strategy and connecting Centric PLM with multiple 3D systems offers a 360-degree view of this development.”

Business consultant Frank Potts and Rebecca Johansen, R&D manager at Helly Hansen, emphasized the time savings 3D design and the Centric Connectors affords. “Bringing 3D design and development capabilities into Centric PLM has significant operational and strategic benefit potential for us,” they said. “For the past year, we’ve been developing some of our designs in 3D, and the Centric 3D Connect will provide us with significant time savings and streamline the workflow for our designers and developers.

“It will also enable us to use 3D product renderings throughout the whole product lifecycle, supporting sales and marketing teams for our buyer’s guide,” the pair added.

“Centric is very innovation-focused, and their series of PLM 3D Connectors is the latest in a long stream of market-first, market-leading tools,” David Grant, vice president of design and supply chain systems at Fast Retailing, said. “We’re very excited about linking multiple 3D fashion software solutions with Centric PLM and the 3D vision that Centric has put into place.”