VP-Sales for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America EFI Optitex
Virtual reality, artificial intelligence to alter approach to customisation
EFI Optitex is a leading provider of an integrated 2D/3D platform that enables users to quickly create true-to-life 3D digital garments, empowering apparel and soft goods companies to revolutionise the way they develop, produce and market their products. Optitex has been part of the Electronics for Imaging (EFI) family since 2016. EFI is a global technology company based in Silicon Valley. Danny Reinfeld, vice president, sales, for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America, of EFI Optitex, talks about 3D CAD tools to be the real game changers in the apparel industry.
How has CAD evolved over the years with respect to its application in apparel and fashion?
First of all, the apparel industry has used 2D CAD for many years. The real game changer is definitely the 3D apparatus. The initial industry interest regarding 3D was for the purpose of pattern validation as this tool has nearly infinite possibilities for fit analysis and virtual sampling. The combination of a 2D and 3D toolset opens the door to a world of automation like grading in 3D over multiple bodies. This transforms pattern making into actual design. As innovation is embedded in our company's DNA, it is no surprise that EFI Optitex pioneered CAD solutions in the fashion industry and continues to lead this exciting market today.
Who are your major clients for apparel, industrial fabrics and upholstery? What percentage do they claim of the entire clientele?
Currently, EFI Optitex services over 7,000 customers around the globe, including some of the hottest names in fashion and apparel. Our array of clients is quite diverse; we have Fortune 100 customers as well as small and medium size businesses. We also serve leading manufacturers for both the mass market as well as luxury brands. The integration between the actual pattern and the 3D tool sets us apart from the others.
What details can be attributed to using 3D CAD design tools?
The endgame is to provide the user with the ability to switch from ideation and vision to a real-life garment quickly, easily, accurately and no less important, cost effectively. The fascinating element about modeling a garment in 3D is the realistic and accurate drape of the fabric. With a complete set of tools that includes 3D CAD, the patternmaker can create complicated garments that look real, instead of plastic-like pieces. Our 3D platform is easy to adopt, easy to use, and provides a rich presentation to its user.
Can analysis on tension, pressure and stretch of a fabric for a garment be done using the software?
Definitely, that can be done. This brings us back to my previous statement that a 3D model can represent a realistic, true to life drape. At EFI Optitex, we have perfected fabric evaluation methods that allow our customers to perform fit analysis in addition to tension and pressure modeling in a way that will present the actual behaviour of the chosen fabric.
What are the latest innovations trending in this industry?
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and overall usage of 3D content throughout the organization - these three emerging technologies are on their way to revolutionise the world in general. In the fashion and apparel industry in particular, we will see VR fitting rooms and 3D body scanning, in addition to innovations in the area of soft tissue avatars and 3D printing.
What will be the next big thing in 3D virtual prototyping and CAD/CAM solutions?
VR fitting and elements powered by artificial intelligence will change workflows when it comes to customised garments. We are already seeing the first steps of how relevant big data can be utilised to allow an optimised and customised user experience. For example, many companies have already started collecting information pertaining to different body types, shapes and sizes.
What kind of sustainability issues and challenges of the fashion industry can be solved using such software solutions?
Our software solutions optimise the entire development and production processes while saving time, money and fabric. Businesses can manufacture on demand rather than mass produce garments in various shapes and sizes, some of which will ultimately go to waste. Furthermore, virtual samples don't require water, dyes or fabric, and leave a tiny carbon footprint.
What are your future plans?
Optitex has been part of the Electronics for Imaging (EFI) family since 2016. EFI is a global leader in transforming print industries from 'analog' workflows and technologies to 'digital.'
EFI has made significant investments in the fashion and apparel industry through additional acquisitions and investments in our research and development. Our customers should expect to see further advancements in creation tools, integration to key systems and innovative ways to work. We can already point to the success of our "Micro Factory" solution that dramatically speeds up the time from concept-to-shelf using the EFI Optitex creation platform and EFI Regianni's digital fabric printers. (HO)
Published on: 26/06/2018
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.