InKreate solves the problems holding back the implementation of low cost 3D scanners and 3D sketching tools

After eighteen months of intense work, InKreate project ended on June 30th, right after having held the last consortium meeting at the project coordinator’s head offices, Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) in Valencia.
Whereas the manufacturing and distribution of apparel industry has advanced in past years with the applications of new CAM and ITC technologies, the design process is still very traditional. The design process is a bottleneck of the current apparel industry’s production cycle. At the same time, there are emerging technologies that could reduce the timing and the cost of the design process, such as 3D scanners and 3D sketching tools.

Inkreate has developed a tool that addresses the above mentioned issues by making it possible to sketch over real bodies and in real proportion. Inkreate tool includes a collection of 3D avatars that represent different statistical body shapes; a tool that creates human 3D body models from existing low cost scanning devices and ready to use by CAD and 3D design software; and, finally, a sketching tool that relies on manipulation of pre-defined basic shapes. Free hand sketching is available as a complementary tool that the user will use to sketch different design details, pattern pieces, embroideries etc.

Fashion designers are now able to design directly over a 3D body shape. Designers can choose a statistical body, convert a body scan or upload a 3D body created in another 3D environment. Inkreate will save development time, will make it easier to manipulate shapes in a 3D environment and will be a great base for future inclusion of 2D pattern development process.

A collection of avatars
The collection of avatars is a collection of statistically derived body shapes. The purpose of the collection is to offer a set of ready-to-use realistic body shapes that can be used as basis for design development.
The resulting collection is made up of 32 female and 24 male high-resolution watertight meshes representing body shapes in four poses, adding up to 224 avatars.

3D generation software
The 3D generation software is a web service accessible via API and it is designed to enable designers to automatically generate simulation-ready avatars from raw body scans. The purpose of the 3D-3D service is to facilitate automatic conversion of raw body scans into simulation-ready avatars which will be used as basis for design development.

Raw body scans are dense and unorganised meshes made up of hundreds of thousands of points containing many undesirable artefacts, especially in areas that are not reachable by 3D scan sensors. Typical artefacts include “holes”, surface noise and additional material (e.g. bumps, bridges, etc.).

In order to be used in simulation environments, raw body scans need to be converted into smooth, watertight meshes, free of noise, artefacts and shadow or occlusion areas.
The reconstruction is completely transparent to the users of the sketching software at a technical level. The designer just imports a raw scan, and it is converted automatically into simulation-ready avatars. The figure below shows examples of the reconstruction.

The sketching tool
InKreate 3D Sketching Tool is a standalone software package intended to facilitate a fashion designer – pattern maker communication by allowing a quick garment prototyping. It is a 3D editing software package that incorporates a sophisticated 3D toolkit (VTK), a modern multiplatform UI (QT), a super light and fast database (SQLite) and one of the best math performance tools available (TBB).

The installation package includes a library of realistic avatars developed by IBV and a basic set of predefined models, textures and trims. The Tool can be used to create realistic design prototypes thus saving time and costs in the designer – pattern maker interaction.

The Tool is written in the C++ programming language. Its infrastructure is multiplatform making it possible to run the Tool on Windows, Linux, Mac and even Android platforms, though slight modifications would be necessary for some platforms.

The Tool is using Rest API to connect with potential avatars and body scan providers. Currently the IBV server is the only provider used.

The typical user of the Tool is able to work with avatars and body scans; with 3D designs and with Cost Estimator.

Cost estimator simple automatically calculates approximate costs by using fabrics and trims’ prices; manually adds item to the Cost Estimator and exports an estimation to an Excel file.

Further info at https://www.inkreate.eu/

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