In the manufacturing & production industries, pattern making is the process in which pattern engineers take a design or a product prototype and develop it into a workable pattern / template for production. This process is extremely important for the manufacturing industry as products are only as good as the patterns that they are created from. When we look at a chair, spoon or a garment, we often forget to apprize the complex artifacts and engineering design that were involved in the process of making a "simple" idea into a working complex 3D object.
How are Technical Drawings Created
Pattern Makers and Technical Designers usually follow a block or sketch Design Drawing to create their Technical drawings. These complex drawings contain the complete technical details and instructions that are used to convey with precision the design idea into a workable product. Since many companies outsource their production to outside factories, making sure that the Technical Package is complete and well illustrated is crucial.
Technical drawings can be created manually or on a 2D/3D CAD system. There are pros and cons in both drafting techniques. The quality of the pattern ultimately lays on the abilities of the pattern maker. A CAD system is just a tool like a pen and a scissor. Talent and skill is what is behind good patterns. Some good pattern makers work well with software technologies and others work better with manual tools. Whether it is done manually or digitally, knowledge of basic geometry is a must for technical designers since pattern making is based on logic and mathematical calculations. For companies creating manual patterns, digitalization is an important step in production. It allows users to save a digital file of their paper patterns and modify/grade the templates virtually as needed.
Technical pattern designers are the mediators between designers and the production staff. Today their responsibilities and skills vary, but in general, they are involved in almost every phase of product development including patternmaking, specs, fit, and production. Technical designers make sure all the engineering details of a product are correct before approving the final product that is manufactured.
Technical designers and Pattern makers should be celebrated the same way designers are. Without their engineering knowledge and skills, design drawings could not become a reality. All good designers have talented pattern engineers working with them.
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