Have the latest pair of Chucks with an über- cool, original design on them? How about a super-fab pair of geek-themed leggings? Personally, I chose algebra and android patterns… What if I told you that we would be hard-pressed to have these avante-garde fashion pieces without the help of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) ?

“What does Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) mean?” you may ask…I did, so here’s the run-down:

By definition, CAM is an application technology that uses computer software and machinery to help with the design and manufacturing processes for many garments and fashion accessories that both the public as well as top fashionistas, wear on a regular basis. CAM is the successor of computer-aided engineering (CAE) and is often used in tandem with computer-aided design (CAD).

Let’s chat about the role that CAD can play in the textile design industry…the first stop being the designer(s) (mais, oui…of course!). CAD helps them to visualize and see their imaginative design in final form without producing any sample swatch. Sometimes, customers provide ideas for designing according to their particular tastes. These can be in the form of artwork, fabric samples and even film negatives. The textile designers, with the help of CAD, convert the media into workable designs. For this to be done, the sample is digitally scanned and are edited to achieve the final design.

Computer technology is making serious waves in fashion design. Everything from textile weave creation to never before-seen accuracy in design sizing; all are completed with the help of CAM. These programs reduce the demand for manual sketches; enabling a new world of design opportunities! The creation still begins in an artist’s mind–a representation of their unique imagination, but CAM offers additional options for creating. Those who may have once struggled with “traditional” math and/or hand-sketching now have help by using various new software.

It’s apparent that today’s fashion design industry has reached new heights–and CAM has helped it do so. As a result, the traditional computer industry has a non-traditional customer: the on-pointe designer and their loyal followers. Over the decades, computers and fashion have developed side-by-side; ever-evolving with changing consumer tastes and trends. Nobody knew that a time would come when both of these fields will complement each other so well…


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