Hybrid Insulated T-Shirt
One of my latest projects, fresh out of the oven is a rework of one of my favorite Mammut products, Eigerjoch Light Insulated T-Shirt.
Based on body zoning, this rework insulates all cold areas and distributes insulation directly to where most needed. I used this project to incorporate one of my other passions into the design process – production sustainability. As it is so crucial to start applying some thought for the future into every step of design, I decided to begin with the first stages of production, namely prototyping.
The Hybrid Insulated T-Shirt is an entirely new product, which means that it would normally need at least 2 prototypes until the right fit and patterns have been defined and right after this, the finetuning would begin. What I wanted to do with this product is save a few weeks of waiting for a sample to arrive and save all possible fabrics, additional costs and CO2, involved in sample production.
Prototyping in 3D also has its fun sides – product changes and design decisions happen super quickly and, for the first time since I graduated from university, I was actually able to complete the whole pattern cutting process by myself. I find this is probably the most useful feature of 3D design – involvement on every stage of production and understanding of the whole process, which can enhance good design in my view.
To name a few downsides, 3D software is usually very expensive for companies (especially CLO 3D, which I used) so I signed up as an individual user to try it out. Additionally, physical prototypes still need to be produced before settling for a final decision due to some seam and fabric qualities not being 100% as in real life (simulation at this stage is not matching reality completely), also simply to test out the production and the garments.
I would say for me, personally, the upsides are more prominent in the design process. The time it takes to produce the 3D visualizations is for sure a lot more than simply sketching and providing a style description on Illustrator but prototyping in real life could be even more time consuming and less sustainable and it’s for sure easier to understand by buyers. Additionally, all the information for suppliers can be exported directly from the 3D file, so that it contains everything needed (including pattern and exact colors and trims).
Although a number of companies have already been using 3D for a very long time, it is still uncertain how this type of prototyping could be implemented into more traditional companies and it will for sure shuffle the whole product structure.
In the meantime, just having fun with all the cool features of the program is definitely worth it.