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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Nic Goldsmith, senior principal at FTL Design and Engineering Studio

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How has digital modeling (CAD equipment) and computer patterning changed your design process?

We started out 30 years ago doing physical modeling for every project—including for cutting patterns. Now we use a computer patterning system and digital modeling. Especially within the last few years, the digital modeling has improved and become more affordable. For some projects we do both physical and digital models, though we can’t afford to do that for every one. The challenge with understanding digital renderings is that sometimes you can make a design look good just by the rendering capabilities of the program, and that won’t necessarily be the case with the end product. You have to develop a sense for how to read the digital designs.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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