Textile and fashion design is increasingly characterized by fast changes in trend and style, but is often reliant on laborious prototyping and production workflows with long lead times. Developed by ErgoSoft together with other industry leaders, the new Simulate, Print & Cut workflow, part of an EU-sponsored project called CoReNet, is focused on improving the European textile and garment industries with new technologies like virtual garment simulation, digital textile printing and other automated services.
Led by the Center for Management Research at the German Institutes for Textile & Fiber Research, ErgoSoft partnered with Assyst GmbH and Color Textil to develop and test a streamlined workflow linking isolated steps of the design and production process. Using Assist’s virtual 3-D garment prototyping software Vidya, and Ergo Soft’s color management software TexPrint, Simulate, Print & Cut removes the need for physical garment prototypes and textile samples. Products fly through the development phase while reducing material waste and costs.
Once the design is production-ready, the virtual 3-D garment is broken up into individual parts, complete with high-resolution fabric pattern, and laid out efficiently in a PDF with the dimensions of the textile to be printed. Contour cut lines and other post processing information can also be managed within the TexPrint RIP processes. The placed pattern ensures an economical print run, by saving material and reducing ink use by up half, while the color managed design is printed exactly how the designer anticipated.
Hans Peter Tobler, CEO of ErgoSoft, explains the motivation for the project: “Digital printing can unburden the textile industry by delivering lower-impact alternatives.” And when these alternatives are developed in partnership with other industry leaders the end result is a compatible and streamlined solution that is hard to beat. Digital printing and related workflows “create opportunities for new kinds of products and TexPrint is one of the favorites in this area because it works so well with the surrounding technologies,” Tobler says.
TexPrint offers not only color management and ink-efficient print environments, but also streamlines many other steps in the production of digitally printed textiles. Working with multi-layer files, adding QR codes to identify orders or creating a cut file can be automated so that production is straightforward, and small, customized print runs can be carried out quickly.
Simulate, Print & Cut supports a fashion and textile industry that is focused increasingly on small runs of unique products by ensuring that the path from inspiration to production is a short one.