10 Tricks to Optimize Your Sampling Process
When it comes to your sampling process, does waiting weeks to receive a first physical prototype from the initial design sketch sound familiar? After that, it can take an additional few weeks to communicate effectively and make decisions between your teams and manufacturers across the globe. Often the sample has to be revised with multiple changes, before going through the lengthy decision-making process again. Multiple physical iterations also means wasted fabric, shipping brokerage and management costs, storage & archiving, disposable of redundancies, and labor costs.
If 75% of those samples could be handled digitally, not only would it reduce the costs for physical samples, but also cut product development time, allow for faster decision making and thus faster time to market.
How is that?
By using digital solutions and in particular 3D technology, designers can make immediate product changes, iterate and modify styles before even committing to fabrics. They can make accurate decisions and adjustments on without the need to fit a physical model, through simulating to view tightness, and understand fit properties with tension maps, half views and mesh views ꟷ all digitally. Not only are fit sessions dramatically reduced, but so are the amount of physical samples.
Within just days, full collections in true-to-life 3D can not only be created, but also showcased in all colorways, sizes and styles, to internal teams and external stakeholders. Review sessions become smoother and quicker as these photorealistic samples can be leveraged across the world with just a browser. No more sending physical samples back and forth, exchanging information through PDFs, or emails and making comments on flat images.
Let’s talk “results”
By going digital, the number of physical prototypes can decrease by 50%, with an average of 10-15% reduction in sample making cost. For some companies, this means a 30% saving of labor and material cost for style sampling. In this fast-paced fast fashion era, it is imperative for brands to get to market quickly and with the best quality of products. Removing the wait time for physical samples dramatically reduces lead times, improves product decisions and accelerates time to market.
Check out our 10 tricks to help you streamline your own sampling process:
- Pattern-making: Drop the pen and go CAD. An efficient pattern making system enables to save time and cost, as well as support more creative and iterative design. For instance, measurements can be visualized on different styles; fabric definitions can be imported or scanned while drafting and editing pieces; line length of multiple pattern segments can be automatically compared and updated, etc.
- Digitizing: Capture pieces and rapidly generate digital copies of garments by outlining patterns or even cloth pieces.
- Plotting: Use a plotter to print pattern pieces for cutting or communicating to supplier can be way faster than tracing by hand.
- Cutting: Try using automated cutting machine for single ply sampling.
- Grading: Grading can be done very effectively through a CAD system. You can quickly adjust patterns to fit the entire size range of your products including complex variations.
- 3D visualization: Photorealistic true-to-life prototypes can be easily created, allowing you to spend more time on developing better and more creative products.
- 3D simulation: You can test initial fit adjustments, gain precision and greatly reduce product development time
- Leveraging 3D samples: You can use a cloud platform to share 3D true-to-life samples and communicate with your partners all over the world instead of sending heavy emails or parcels via courier companies. You can thus hold digital internal reviews on styles, textures, and colorways before even producing the first physical sample.
- Data conversion: Importing, exporting and convert: Leverage your existing technology and gain time by exchanging data with other suppliers
- 3D Avatars: In order to move to a fully, automated and digitized 3D fitting process, it’s vital to get digital assets such as accurate avatars. Today, greater body scanning availability makes it easier to scan or import avatars or mannequins across different sizes and body types to use for different fitting sessions and view how styles look on multiple sizes and on body movement.
Want to see how much time and cost you can save? Click here to calculate how much you can optimize your sampling process.