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Tukatech’s New Technology to Tackle the Product Development Problem

Tukatech has new products in place to change the design landscape.

The fashion technology solutions provider launched a suite of patent-pending applications Tuesday that will eliminate sketching and the misinterpretations that have stemmed from it for years.

Dubbed the TUKA3D Designer Edition, Tukatech said the visualization application will let designers show their concepts virtually without ever needing to touch a pattern. It’s virtual garment building, not virtual draping.

“The landscape of what it looks like when a consumer buys clothing is moving rapidly towards small quantities and mass customization,” Tukatech chief collaborator Savannah Crawford said. “This has been the buzz for years now, and is not really news, but it means not only that retailers need to adapt their business models for a more omnichannel shopping experience, but manufacturers themselves need to be able to produce garments with more agility. The only way they can do that is to shorten their product development cycle time, and much of that time is eaten up in miscommunication between the designers and the sample-room about what will be made.”

With the Designer Edition, designers can mix and match virtual pattern pieces from different styles without patternmaking—or without even understanding patternmaking—assess print repeats and placements in true scale on a real garment body, play with color and showcase the final concept with images that are more lifelike than a flat sketch.

Many of today’s designers, according to Crawford, don’t know much about patternmaking and really just want to visualize their designs and have few options other than sketching or working with a technical designer to communicate their vision, but then things get lost in translation and first protos are often scrapped because it’s not what the designer wanted. That process has been a big problem as the delays tie up the product development cycle at a time that it really can’t afford to be tied up.

“The sooner that everyone is on the same page about the design, the sooner a garment can be sent for production,” Crawford said. “Cutting down on the product development time gives manufacturers more time for production. This extra leeway can be spent on increasing the level of quality in the output or the production capacity, giving vendors more agility. This gives everyone involved a competitive advantage in the paradigm shift that is coming sooner than we all probably realize.”