Advantages of CAD/CAM in Textiles

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

We all like to wear clothes, but how are they designed and made? Did you know the process involves technology? In this lesson, explore the advantages of CAD and CAM in textiles. Updated: 10/14/2020

CAD: Definitions

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
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CAM: Definitions

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: Advantages

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.

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