Create industrial fabric, textile, and composite material Flat Patterns with ExactFlat

Article by Rod Mackay updated November 26, 2016


In my previous post I described how scanned data for a car seat model is imported and created in SOLIDWORKS with the help of ExactFlat. In this post I’ll describe the workflow to generate a SOLIDWORKS flat pattern from scanned data with ExactFlat. Below is an illustration showing the scanned car seat with the flat pattern created in ExactFlat.

ExactFlat formed and flat pattern

ExactFlat formed and flat pattern

ExactFlat Workflow

ExactFlat gives industrial fabric and textile manufacturers the ability to take their product design from screen to machine. The manufacturing workflow would follow a path like this:

ExactFlat Workflow

ExactFlat Workflow

ExactFlat Tools

The ExactFlat SOLIDWORKS add-in has all the tools needed to create the SOLIDWORKS flat pattern, plus additional tools shown below:

  • Seams
  • Hems
  • Hardware
  • Marker Output
  • Cost Calculations
  • Material Usage
  • Nesting Calculations
  • Material Assignment

Below is the car seat flat pattern with seams added.


Seat Flat Pattern

Output to the shop floor is assigned through a Marker View, with all the appropriate layers being mapped to either the cut or pen tools  (also shown below):

Flat Pattern Marker View

Flat Pattern Marker View

The entire SOLIDWORKS Flat Pattern creation process can be viewed below:


ExactFlat provides a complete start to end solution for pattern creation from scanned data. This could have been for any downstream application for fabric, soft goods, and composite product design.

To learn more about ExactFlat view our recent on-demand webinars in our blog or visit our ExactFlat product page.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.