As Fashion Industry Embraces 3D Prototyping, It Finds Seeing Is Believing — And Buying

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Virtualization has transformed the manufacturing sector. By creating 3D renderings of parts and testing them virtually, companies can design, prototype and mass-produce goods faster and and with smaller margins of error than ever before. And now the fashion industry is getting in on the fun.

As the Los Angeles Times points out, retailer Betabrand is making good use of this technique. Its designers create 3D renderings of products — detailed enough to give customers a good idea of what they’d be buying — poll their audience to gauge demand and then ship the designs off for manufacturing.

Not only can this method shave half a year or more off companies’ go-to-market timelines, according to the paper, it also gives them a better idea of whether a product will sell like hot cakes — or sit on the shelf until the next 50% off sale. “Retailers and brands who are embracing this are going to be winners of the future,” David Bassuk, managing director of consulting group AlixPartners, told the Times. “This is flipping the business model on its head.”

Read more about how digital techniques are transforming the fashion industry here.