Nice fit — Software bids goodbye to seat-of-the-pants design

July 22, 2004
Automotive-seating manufacturers can now design the seat and its covering, as well as visualize how the fabric will drape over the frame,

Nice fit — Software bids goodbye to seat-of-the-pants design

FiberSIM simulation of a single ply of fabric draped on a seat frame.

View of OptiTex Runway 3D operating in Pattern Design Software during the design of an automotive seat

without making a physical prototype. Also, 3D design of the seat frame and covering can take place in the same CAD environment as the car and can be updated parametrically. This thanks to Vistagy Inc., Waltham, Mass. (, and OptiTex USA Inc., New York, N.Y. (, which have collaborated on software for 3D design of sewn products. The resulting system works with any kind of seating, though automotive and aerospace will likely be primary application areas.

Vistagy's FiberSIM software for designing 3D patterns of sewn products combines with OptiTex's Pattern Design (PDS) and Runway 3D software. The result, according to the companies, will let manufacturers of sewn products cut turnaround times, reduce prototyping costs, and eliminate trial-and-error to produce 2D fabric patterns.

FiberSIM's 3D Pattern Design Environment (PDE) accurately simulates how material drapes over the complex curvature of sewn products made of fabric and leather. The software is fully integrated into the CAD system, eliminating problems related to 3D model translation. It also provides a materials database and an XML-based open architecture for complete integration with product-data management (PDM) systems.

OptiTex's Pattern Design (PDS) and Runway 3D are part of the company's version 9 pattern design and simulation software. The software is said to allow accurate fit on any form or body shape and simulates all aspects of the designedstyle construction, letting users develop 2D patterns, choose fabrics, and visualize designs before producing a physical sample.

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