Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.
Chances are, you're wearing clothing right now and decorated your home with blankets, curtains, pillows, and tablecloths. They might have been printed with a colorful design or woven using an interesting pattern. Someone had to design those clothes and household items, including the patterns on their surfaces.
Designing clothes and textiles used to take a lot of time. However, computers have made the process both faster and more efficient using software called CAD and CAM.
CAD stands for computer-aided design. Basically, it's a computer software program that helps textile designers create knit, printed, and woven patterns. When working with a CAD program, a designer often creates a rough draft done by hand, then scans it into a computer. The designer can then change its colors and size of motifs, create multiple drafts, and even produce three-dimensional images on the computer for a client to review.
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- 0:04 CAD: Definitions
- 1:01 CAM: Definitions
- 1:30 CAD: Advantages
- 2:12 CAM: Advantages
- 2:40 Important Considerations
- 3:19 Lesson Summary
After completing a design, a textile designer can immediately import it as a digital file to the CAM system. CAM, or computer-aided manufacturing, works in conjunction with CAD systems. It translates the design into actual garments or textile patterns. Textile companies use CAM to manage all aspects of the manufacturing process. From cutting garment parts to sewing those parts together, CAM makes the manufacturing process more efficient and streamlined.
CAD and CAM are standard in the textile industry. Between them, they provide many advantages to textile designers and manufacturers. During the project design phase, CAD provides several advantages. For example, it allows for the creation of more accurate designs and faster revisions of design drafts, such as those related to the color scheme of a pattern or the size of a garment. CAD also allows for great flexibility when updating design drafts. In short, CAD systems not only save time but also allow a designer to be more creative because it eliminates the monotonous parts of the process, like having to redraw designs every time there's a minor change.
CAM offers many advantages during the manufacturing phase—first and foremost the mass production of textiles. For instance, it integrates all of the elements of the process, which may include the use of multiple machines when cutting and sewing the parts of a garment. CAM also increases the accuracy and speed of the production process. And, if a customer wants to reorder a popular design, all of that information is readily available in the computer system's files.
There are a few important things to consider with respect to CAD and CAM. For example, software users must be skilled in the process, and designers must be trained in the basics of their field, like fashion and textile design, printed and/or woven fabrics, and color theory. Additionally, software programs like CAD and CAM, as well as the computers that run them, can be very expensive. That said, CAD and CAM have revolutionized textile design and production. The next time you put on your favorite outfit or toss a colorful blanket over your bed, give some thought to who might have designed it and how it was made.
Let's review. CAD stands for computer-aided design. It's a computer software program that helps textile designers create knit, printed, and woven patterns. CAM, or computer-aided manufacturing, works in conjunction with CAD systems by translating a design into actual garments or textile patterns. Textile companies use CAM to manage all aspects of the manufacturing process, from cutting garment parts to sewing those parts together. CAD offers several advantages, including the creation of more accurate designs and faster revisions of design drafts. Advantages associated with CAM include the integration of all elements of the design process during the mass production of textiles, in addition to the storing of information if a customer wants to reorder a popular design.
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Advantages of CAD/CAM in Textiles
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