A 3D apparel design workflow enables apparel companies to validate and visualize the collection, down to the fabric and drape of the garment.
Columbia has undergone a transformative 3D journey, and Adrianne and Johanna have been at the forefront of this exciting development. As they reflect on their experiences, they reveal how 3D technology has revolutionized interdepartmental communication and collaboration, significantly benefiting Columbia’s pattern changes, grading, and sizing processes.
As Adrianne explains, the company began by focusing on streamlining communication to tackle these typically lengthy and tedious processes. This resulted in a significant shift in how communication occurred, as Johanna observes, “3D changed communication and collaboration a lot”. The pair leveraged the improved communication tools to ensure they could communicate pattern changes visually, not just verbally, streamlining the process significantly.
The trust between the designers and digital prototypes was built over time, with the pair comparing the digital and physical samples and working closely with the designers to establish a visual language. With this trust established, the teams began to leverage the 3D technology to collaborate more effectively on design intent, eliminating the need for multiple rounds of physical sampling and reducing turnaround times.
The benefits of this 3D technology were not limited to communication and collaboration but also extended to the grading and sizing process. Using VStitcher enabled Fit Engineers to visualize pattern grading across different sizes and body types using different avatars, increasing accuracy and efficiency.
Ultimately, the adoption of 3D technology at Columbia has delivered significant benefits. The speed and accuracy of the process have improved, with faster turnaround times and better physical prototypes. As Adrianne states, “The better those first physical prototypes look, the better we do businesswise.” With the expertise of Adrianne and Johanna, Columbia is poised to continue to leverage 3D technology to stay ahead of the curve and remain an industry leader.