FABRICAD publication - The official guide to CAD for the apparel and textile industries.
Fashion Toolbox 2000 Debut (Sept. 2000)
The popular, affordable design program Fashion Toolbox (www.fashiontoolbox.com) has been upgraded to a 32bit color version (up from 8 bit) called Fashion Toolbox 2000. The program now enables designers to work with true photographic images which is especially useful for draping simulations and photo collages. The other new thing on display at the CAD Expo was the company's Design Specs. Basically a template structure for Microsoft Excel® that allows designers to quickly and easily create spec sheets using this powerful spreadsheet program. If you've ever tried to link items through a workbook of Excel sheets you'll understand the power of Design Specs immediately. The new Fashion Toolbox 2000 list price is $999. Discounts for those upgrading as well. Separate pricing for Design Specs.
New Software For the Budget Conscious (April, 1998)
Designers dream of having CAD software at home, on their laptop computer, on an inexpensive PC. Last year saw the introduction of several lower priced software programs, it looks like 1998 will not change this direction. Fashion Toolbox comes with a full suite of design tools for sketching, print design, woven, and knits. And a price tag of $699. The program is designed for the Windows 95/98 operating system, and in fact can run on a pretty basic PC - 32MB RAM, 4MB video card, 150Mhz or better. The screen layout works with the storyboard concept - tools on the right hand side of the screen, design area on the left. The tools are nicely arranged with tabs to move you from one set to another. Fashion Toolbox is TWAIN compliant so most scanners work with the program. A variety of file formats are available for import and export. All the basic tools are there, like ones for color sampling for color reduction, protect and unprotected colors for cleaning, and repeat functions for straight and variable drops. There are even tools for cycling through colorways automatically. You can create your own palettes. A limitation I found was that you are not able to assign color names to colors. Also, this software is an older generation, so the designer is limited to 256 colors in a design. Also, it only works with bit map, or raster images so resolution is an issue. Rather incredibly, Fashion Toolbox ships with an extensive library of sketches, component drawings (buttons, zippers, etc.) a weave library, jacquard structures, and fancy knit stitches. Taking a cue from the off-the-shelf market, a designer who buys the program gets a user manual, and excellent Step-by-Step tutorial, and the CD libraries, but no one-on-one training. Company manager has created a network of designers who can provide training on a per hour cost basis. Support is also available via fax or via the Internet.
APPAREL & HOME TECHNOLOGY (September, 98)
CAD Systems Aim for Freelance Designers New York
Several companies at CAD Expo Plus were showing design systems aimed at individual designers or small studios. Many of these systems can run on Macintosh or Windows-based PCs. FashionToolbox.com, here, showed the Fashion Toolbox, which encompasses a number of fabric and apparel design features. Using the Fashion Toolbox, users can produce story board designs, line sheets and flat sketch drawings. The Fashion Toolbox software can be used for print designs, knit designs, plaids and stripes and will do coloring and colorways and pattern filled flats. The system comes with clip art images, including silhouettes, figure drawings, knit swatches, weave structures and jacquard patterns.