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JBlock2D – an automatic block creation geometry library

April 30, 2018

A recently-completed, collaborative project between the School of Materials (Dr Simeon Gill) and the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (Dr Adrian Harwood) at The University of Manchester is proud to release JBlock2D – an automatic block creation geometry library. This release represents the beginning of a new open source Java project dedicated to the realisation of a fully-automated custom-clothing production process.


The project, funded by an EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account and supported by Survival-One Ltd (part of the Survitec Group), was designed to generate capabilities for made-to-measure clothing practices. Specifically, this was to be realised through the development of open software for automatically creating pattern blocks that accurately reflect the size, shape and proportion of individuals. The JBlock2D package provides the tools need to create any pattern from a set of measurements programmatically. Its creation forms a platform for developing new methods for analysis of pattern-to-person relationships and couples with body scanning technology. At an appropriate level of maturity, it will serve as an enabler for mass-market automation of custom clothing production.


The current version of the JBlock2D library includes 2D geometrical features that mimic the geometries used in the traditional, hand-creation of clothing pattern blocks. Users of the initial version may use the library’s features to programmatically specify an automated equivalent of their own pattern drafting method for any item of clothing. Examples of the Beazley and Bond approach to drafting blocks for a skirt, pair of trousers and sleeveless bodice are available in the software package to demonstrate the utility.


The relevant measurements can be provided either by programmer input or from a body scanner. The generation of the blocks is entirely automatic once the measurements are available and JBlock2D outputs scalable, 2D line drawings suitable for use by pattern cutters.


In the last week of April, two workshops were held with representatives across the clothing production industry who used the blocks created by the package to create items from calico cloth and examined them for fit. The feedback from the sessions will be used to establish clear theory linking the size, shape and proportion of individuals to pattern block shape. In turn this input will lead to pattern improvement and ultimately standardisation through provision of informed drafting methods. This will enable body-scanning-driven pattern development and help support SMEs looking to create custom garments in a cost-effective way.


Use the links for more information on body-scanning or the JBlock2D project.


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