How a leading Furniture company can implement design-for-cost strategies and launch products faster?

By Lauriane
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Nowy Styl Group is a European leader in comprehensive furniture solutions and the third largest manufacturer of office furniture in Europe. They have selected “My Product Portfolio”, a Dassault Systèmes industry solution experience, to design, develop and deliver more innovative products and accelerate new product introductions.

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“Dassault Systèmes’ industry solution experience helps our technical departments, personnel, partners and suppliers better communicate and monitor and detect issues early in the development process to optimize product quality. These capabilities reduce development and manufacturing time and costs and improve our time to market.” said Tomasz Bardzik, CTO Nowy Styl Group.

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To understand how Nowy Styl Group can implement design-for-cost strategies and launch products faster and in compliance with sustainability targets and safety norms, Watch the video and Listen to Tomasz Bardzik, CTO of Nowy Styl Group

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3D Won’t Replace Traditional Fashion Design (It Will Make it Better)

By Lauriane
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dressmaking still life - pink measure tape, pins, thimble, shears on fabrics

There’s something about fashion apparel that inspires people. It is, perhaps, the oldest craft, art form, and profession in the world, evolving from the simple utility of animal skins to the modern, purpose-built, tech apparel of today. People are passionate about their clothes: the fit, the color, the style, and the way it compliments their form. And why not? There are so many aspects to enjoy about apparel. There is the coziness of fleece or the comfort of a tee-shirt. Fabrics that, because of the thread construction, shimmer like fluttering fall leaves. There is the bliss of finding those pants with the perfect fit that seem to effortlessly compliment the human form.

Apparel is a fundamentally physical experience, so how can we hope to improve the experience with the cold preciseness of digital technology?

black-and-white-modelHumans tend to be binary in nature: plus or minus, black or white, either/or. The reality is that there is so little in life that is totally clear cut. The truth is generally found all along the line between the extremes, and so it is with physical and digital fashion design. Fashion design is, and always will be, about how a physical garment looks and feels on the body. But the fact remains that there are certain things that are either difficult, or impossible, to do in the real world. Many of these things, however, can be extremely easy to accomplish in the digital domain.

For instance, when creating a physical garment, there is no way to instantly change its color, material, or shape. Further, it takes a massive amount of effort to rearrange a physical retail space in order to try different assortments, layouts, and fixtures. However, making these types of changes are nearly instantaneous in the digital world. And although the digital realm is very good about showing options and allowing you to make changes, it can tell you very little about how a garment feels and nothing about the quality of its construction. And it’s because of this last flaw in digital tools that many in the fashion world often throw these tools out completely.

Learn more about 3D in Consumer Goods, Fashion and Retail:

Smart clothing moves beyond sportswear sensors

By Catherine
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Written by Catherine Bolgar

 

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Clever clothing is moving beyondsensor-laden sportswear, adding capabilities that keep us cool, or warm, and improve our health; smart clothes might one day even make us invisible. Consider the following possibilities.

Cool under fire: Past clothing innovations, such as Kevlar, have greatly enhanced personal safety, for example, by improving bulletproof vests. But being impermeable, such vests also keep out air and trap in the wearer’s sweat. It is a problem that researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) have tried to solve by developing a smart protective vest with an integrated cooling system using “Coolpad” technology originally designed for medical uses.coolpadvest-2

The Coolpad consists of two breathable membranes and a thin hydrophilic textile from which the added water is evaporated for cooling. An active cooling mechanism consists of a Coolpad and a ventilation system based on a spacer fabric (a three dimensional knitted fabric) to guide the air. A tiny fan, similar to that in a computer, pumps air through the spacer fabric, which in turn guides the air through the inside of the vest, increasing evaporation and cooling the wearer, Martin Camenzind, an EMPA electronic engineer, explains. A small water reservoir creates a mist in the fabric channels and, along with the perspiration, helps cool the wearer.

The drop in temperature varies according to how the Coolpad vest is worn. Sometimes a police officer will want to display his or her bulletproof vest, other times to hide it. When worn close to the skin, over a T-shirt, it can reduce body temperature by four to six degrees Celsius, says Mr. Camenzind. “You would feel even smaller temperature changes than that,” he adds. Furthermore, the active cooling system vest weighs about one kilogram, compared with the nearly 20 kilograms of equipment—including radio, gun, flashlight and more—that police officers regularly carry.

Hot fashion: At the other end of the thermometer, nanowire clothing could keep us all warm. Stanford University researchers have developed metallic nanowire-coated fabrics that reflect body heat back to the wearer, augmented by Joule heating in which an electric current releases heat. The clothing is also breathable, so the wearer stays comfortable. One benefit of the technology lies in not having to heat a whole house for its inhabitants to stay warm.

Walk like a robot: In another remarkable development, a Bristol University research team is developing soft-robotic clothing, such as smart trousers that support wearers as they walk or climb stairs, helping to prevent falls. Wearable robotics, especially for the elderly, might be more efficient than bulky walking aids or stair lifts, and more comfortable than braces that can restrict blood circulation.

Healthy fabrics: Other smart fabrics, being developed at the University of Laval in Quebec, can monitor and wirelessly transmit a wearer’s biomedical information. Such fabrics can provide a minimally invasive way to monitor chronic diseases, glucose levels, heart rhythm, brain activity, movement or location.

Clothes hide the man: In the distant future, scientists may be able to develop an “invisibility cloak,” using metamaterials—materials with properties not found in nature. Metamaterials could be used for better imaging, for visual prosthetics such as contact lenses, or for sensors. Metamaterials might also be used to create fabric with an interesting, colorful pattern that can change an object’s image, including its color, says Andrea Di Falco, lecturer in nano-photonics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Researchers there are developing Metaflex, a flexible metamaterial with electromagnetic properties.

Invisible man concept

Metamaterials often consist of metal particles smaller than light waves. To make something invisible, a metamaterial must keep light from interacting with the material itself, Dr. Di Falco explains. “If you hide the object with a cloak but you see the cloak, you haven’t done the job. You have to hide the object and hide the cloak itself.”

Researchers are therefore experimenting with ways to bend or alter light in order to hide objects. But each object needs its own unique cloak, making it feasible on a small scale but impractical for bigger objects such as people, says Dr. Di Falco. “Cloaking today is possible provided you accept some limitations,” he says. “Will we ever be able to have a Harry Potter cloak? It’s possible, but it’s very, very far off.”

 

Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. 

For more from Catherine Bolgar, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion.

 

Images courtesy of iStock



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