Manufacturing software for designing with fabrics & composite materials

Fabric Industry REQUIREMENTS

As a Designer or Manufacturer who works with industrial fabrics or composites we know that you require a complete solution so you can go from SCREEN-TO-MACHINE as fast as possible. You need a software package that will allow you to design your product in 3D, then determine how to cover it in the required fabric or composite material, produce the 2D patterns for manufacturing, and calculate the cost involved.

Your Business needs

  1. Better product performance and differentiation.
  2. Lower unit cost and increased productivity.
  3. Reduced time to market and improved response time.

Your Software Solution needs

  • 3D to 2D Fabric Flattening.
  • Pattern Making and Nesting.
  • Real-time costing.

Applicable Industries

  • Automotive & transportation seating and interiors: seating, steering wheel & shift knob covers, armrests, headliners, carpeting, trunk liners, insulation
  • Marine: seating, canvas bimini tops, covers, boat hulls, sails
  • Furniture: office, commercial and residential
  • Apparel: pants, shirts, hats, shoes, gloves, uniforms, technical, compression clothing Industrial equipment & technical products: industrial wraps and covers, industrial linings, military equipment
  • Composite products: aerospace, automotive parts, boat hulls, turbine blades etc.
  • Inflatables: hot air and weather balloons, industrial balloons, inflatable buildings, inflatable bladders, inflatable marketing products
  • Other: luggage, handbags & accessories, tents, awnings, medical soft goods, film, protective films, graphic wraps, sports equipment, commercial sun shades, signs and banners, displays, body armor, tactical gear, helmets, consumer product and appliance covers, architectural structures, roofing, and more…

Your Typical ISSUES

Working in the soft goods or industrial fabrics industry you probably experience some if not all of these problems on a daily basis:

Disconnected Process

Fragmented software packages and offerings means that files must be trafficked from system to another, with inevitable losses of data integrity and limiting the opportunities to accelerate downstream activity from upstream inputs.

Complex Workflow

Computer-enabled digital workflows are often interrupted by manual processes (e.g. creating flat patterns, costing) which slows overall design speed, limits your flexibility, and can increase your costs.

Poor Collaboration

Various manufacturing skill sets are spread across separate platforms which limits team collaboration and also requires the maintenance of multiple product licenses.

Process Gaps

Result: Reduced Competitive Advantage

These challenges add considerable time, money and effort, limiting the very elements that lead to your competitive advantage: fixed cost containment, flexible production, and streamlined design processes.

Lastly - and perhaps most importantly - CAD tools that you are using now are poorly suited to the tasks at hand or have not evolved significantly in many years. Leading solid modelling 3D CAD packages are rich in features and function, however they are not optimized for industrial fabrics and sewn products in general, and many of the 3D CAD-based offerings purpose-built for industrial fabrics severely limit the screen-to-machine adoption

The SOLUTION: ExactFlat

ExactFlat is the first product to integrate 3D design, 3D-to-2D flattening, nesting and costing with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software. This means:

Integrated Platform

Sewn product features are parametrically defined and fully linked from 3D design, to 2D flat pattern, to nesting, and costing.

Team Collaboration

Design, data, and creativity are on one platform, bringing excellence, speed and flexibility to design, prototyping, and production.

Quick ROI

Built directly into SOLIDWORKS for fast ramp-up, with an experienced support team with years of experience in related industries.

ExactFlat logo

ExactFlat Process

A four step process to go from Design to Production

Step 1: 3D Model

ExactFlat works inside of SOLIDWORKS allowing a designer to create flat patterns from any 3D shape.

The Create Piece tool allows the user to define the surfaces, solid faces, edges to cut and materials that define a single connected piece.

After material properties are assigned to the piece,  the model can be flattened.  An edge shared by neighboring 3D model pieces are linked in the 2D pattern environment.

ExactFlat Modeling in SOLIDWORKS
ExactFlat Flattening Environment

Step 2: Flatten

The ExactFlat Flattener Environment allows the user to flatten many pieces at once

The Flattener eliminates the manual processes associated with 3D to 2D flattening and flat pattern development. ExactFlat algorithms accurately simulate the behavior of composite cloths. ExactFlat knits faces together to create quality meshes, and automatically flattens 3D into 2D flat patterns, removing wrinkles, unwanted string and sag, and optimize the pattern’s fit.

A 3D view and a 2D view is provided for each piece with simple navigation tools. Meshing with flat pattern optimization tools.

Step 3: Pattern & Nest

ExactFlat takes the guesswork out of pattern and nesting, eliminating the tape and drape method for converting 3D designs into 2D flattened patterns.

2D pattern features such as Edge Features, Notches Grain Lines and Markings are  added in a Pattern View

Optimized nest files are created in a Marker View.  Material information is used to determine the flat pattern information.

Pool Pattern Nesting
Pattern & Nesting
ExactFlat Document

Step 4: Document & Cost

Technical documentation is created using drawings.

ExactFlat enhances the SOLIDWORKS toolset with Edge Feature Callouts, BOM tables and 3D / 2D views of the design. The drawing environment allows the user to quickly document a sewn product design using ExactFlat tools in SOLIDWORKS.

As you design ExactFlat will price the job for you. Everyone (Accounting, Sales, Design, Purchasing and Production) can know the cost down to the level of each part in real time. It is business intelligence that leads to intelligent business.


“ExactFlat reduced our costs and time-to-market by 60%. Within 60 days of implementing, we were winning more business by delivering faster – and with increased profitability”

— Joel Kaminski, Sales Engineer, Ohio Valley Industrial Services

“ExactFlat enables us to spend more time on high-­value design because we’ve eliminated the iterative, manual processes that had become the industry standard. We can now respond faster to our customers’ needs, and it’s winning us more business.”

— Joy Hutchinson, Owner, Eclipse Yacht Canvas

SOLIDWORKS Services included

Improve your performance and productivity with Javelin services

Javelin Support Team

Technical Support

With SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service, you have access to extensive help from our SOLIDWORKS experts. Which will enhance your software investment and guide you through development challenges.

  • Live Technical Support from our certified support team.
  • Remote Support to solve your technical issue right on your machine.
  • Regular Communication of software updates and technical tips and tricks.

Upgrades & Resources

Enjoy the latest version of your software and direct access to a comprehensive library of drawings, parts, assemblies, and features contributed by users around the globe.

  • Automatic Upgrades to the most Up-to-date Version of your SOLIDWORKS software.
  • FREE access to the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal for Macros, Documentation, and the ability to submit Enhancement Requests.
  • Full access to the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base for Articles, Tech Tips, and Best Practices.
SolidProfessor on-demand learning platform SOLIDWORKS Add-in

Online Training & Certification

A SolidProfessor and a MySolidWorks online account is included with your subscription service where you can get answers, stay current, and sharpen your design skills with online training:

  • SolidProfessor includes 15K+ online tutorial videos.
  • FREE access to SOLIDWORKS testing and certification to help you become a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) or Professional (CSWP).

Learn more about SolidProfessor »

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