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Tukatech Launches The Enterprise Edition Of TUKA3D System For Virtual Product Development

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Tukatech is the garment and apparel industry’s leading provider of fashion technology solutions. Founded in 1995 by garment-industry veteran Ram Sareen, Tukatech offers award-winning 2D pattern making, grading, and marker making software, automated marker making software, 3D sample making/virtual prototyping software, as well as garment plotters, and automatic spreaders and cutters for production. Below is our interview with Rebecca Burger, Chief Creator of Happiness at Tukatech:

Q: How would you describe Tukatech in your own words?

A: Tukatech develops software and hardware solutions that disrupt the traditional product development and manufacturing processes in the apparel industry. Our breadth of products and services enables us to be both a “one-stop-shop” and an “a la carte” option, depending on the unique needs of each company we work with. Our international team of engineers and consultants is comprised of an array of apparel industry veterans, product development specialists, and manufacturing experts, all of whom are results-driven and dedicated to customer satisfaction.

We never just sell software or a piece of machinery. We are a knowledge-based company, so training and implementation is included with any of our systems. It doesn’t matter if you have the right tools in your hands if you never learn how to use them; consulting and process engineering from our professionals guarantees measurable results in improved process efficiency.

The heart of Tukatech has always been that the size of a company shouldn’t matter. The smaller start-ups should have access to the same powerful tools that large, established companies are using. This has been a driving principle in how we design and package our systems. For example, our TUKAcad pattern-making, grading, and marker-making suite is available by online subscription, with special rates for students. This means that freelance designers or recent graduates are equipped to add value as professionals in the apparel industry.

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Q: You’ve recently launched the Enterprise Edition of your TUKA3D system for virtual product development; tell us something more?

A: The apparel industry has been known for being a slow adopter of technology. There are many companies worldwide that are still operating under the “traditional” methods: making patterns, cutting and making samples by hand, conducting live fit sessions with a human model, tucking, pinning, and cutting areas of the garment that do not fit right, then duplicating the process repeatedly until they get it right. Imagine if the aerospace, automotive, or architecture industry operated under these methods; the required investment in time and money would price the average consumer out of buying a car or house!

Within the last five years or so, there has been a noticeable shift in mindset; designers, brands, retailers, and manufacturers are now recognizing the benefits of technology and how virtual product development is transforming the industry. This shift has already made a tremendous impact for the early-adopters. They’ve see that advanced technology means less time, money, and resources wasted in bulky process. However, there is a portion of the market that has been resistant to convert their product development into a digital process purely because they don’t have the capital to invest in the technology.

Since we believe in making these tools available to both established and growing companies, we saw the need to re-bundle our TUKA3D suite for virtual product development into a more attainable package. TUKA3D Enterprise Edition contains the same powerful features and functionalities as our traditional package, now known as TUKA3D Professional Edition, which was released in the early 2000’s.

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Q: What are main benefits for your users?

A: The TUKA3D technology enables our users to design and develop their garments in a virtual world instead of creating physical samples. Models and fabrics are replicated virtually, so the physics of the garment drape are the same as in real life. Working seamlessly with our TUKAdesign system for 2D pattern-making, TUKA3D samples are based on real pattern data, so users can analyze the fit and aesthetics of a style accurately. Virtual product development shortens the time from the initial idea to garment production, which enables brands and retailers to reach the market quicker.

Q: Could you explain the most prominent advantages of the TUKA3D technology?

A: Since TUKA3D is built on Autodesk’s 3D Studio Max software, we’re uniquely able to offer animated 3D models, which means that samples can be seen in the same motion a live model would perform in a live fitting session. This is crucial to fit analysis, because humans don’t stand in static positions all day. Even someone with the most mundane desk job is still sitting, walking, reaching, etc. These motions (and hundreds of others) are applied to virtual samples, so technicians can get real feedback about the comfort and fit of a style. Even fashion motions, such as a runway walk or pose, can be replicated for designers who simply want to see how the style moves.

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Q: What are your plans for the upcoming year?

A: In conjunction with TUKA3D, we also offer a web-based digital sample room application, TUKAcloud. This technology emulates the simple ways of traditional working, when the designer, pattern maker, and sample maker were all under one roof. The globalization of the apparel industry has caused the product development process to become extremely convoluted, resulting in miscommunications and missed opportunities. TUKAcloud gives brands, retailers, and manufacturers a powerful online platform that facilitates effective communication and encourages seamless global collaboration.

The TUKAcloud web application is a database for virtual samples created in TUKA3D, as well as the corresponding colorways, pattern, measurement chart, tech pack or any other file that is associated with that sample. Managers and designers can simply log in, view, and approve all this information without needing to install any additional software. Furthermore, TUKAcloud can be used as a reference library for future styles. Since all the information for a style is housed in the same online folder, it’s easier to find the required, approved technical files than it would be in most sample rooms.

TUKAcloud is changing the way that companies work on a global scale. We’ve seen the complete elimination of prototype samples in some cases, and in others we’ve seen the sample development cycle time reduce from 90 days to 7 days. In the coming year, we plan to continue updating the TUKAcloud application to facilitate more effective communication between parties across the world. It will become a more robust solution for sharing data and collaborating between companies.

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