It would be helpful to know and understand how LibreCAD works. The LibreCAD wiki provides information on how CAD systems generally work and how LibreCAD achieves that. Examples of how SodaCAD might differ or adapt LibreCAD for pattern drafting will be provided as time allows.
The following outline gives a general overview of the types of changes needed and will be updated as the project progresses.
- Simplify and adapt drafting tools to use common fashion industry terms. Some of these terms are found in the glossary.
- Hide drafting tools that are unlikely to be used but retain them for future use.
- Improve/adapt the existing icon set.
- Improve visual design, perhaps use Tango inspired design and colors.
- Icons should reflect fashion industry expectations. For example, the offset tool would become the seam allowance tool.
- Instead of the command line interface, a pop-up window when a tool is initialized with the option to turn the pop-up window off.
- Menu specification
- Retain the default native LibreCAD file format DXF and retain existing export options.
- Add PDF option.
- Create a new native format that will save proper object (pattern piece) information, and sizes.
- Be able to save pattern pieces as individual piece files and groups of pattern pieces as style files.
- Default to the snap tool being on automatically with the ability to customize the snap range.
- In addition to being able to draft directly in the software, allow for digitizing inputs.
- Modify existing drawing tools for common pattern drafting practices (to be explained in detail later).
- Add/Remove fullness
- Insert/Modify darts
- Add box/knife pleats.
- Split pieces with add seam allowance option
- Fold/Open (Mirror) pieces
- Measure from selected point to selected point and have the data print on the screen.
- Add drill points, notches, placement/match lines
- Add/remove seam allowances
- Close corner options
- Be able to specify the desired units of measure: Standard, Metric, decimal or fractions and save to a profile that loads automatically on program start with the ability to modify as needed.
- Separate out the draw point function to two functions. One would be to add points to a line. Second, the draw points function (add points to the drawing space) should be changed to "add button" and/or "add drill points" in which the points can only be added within the interior of a block. The add points to a line should trigger a submenu with the ability to change point properties.
- Select a range of points and align them along a vertical or horizontal line.
- Blend a range of points into a curve with B-splines. Existing bezier drawing tools is buggy and difficult to use. Look to Inkscape for a better bezier tool?
- Identify a point as either a curve or sharp point.
- Be able to fine tuning by the movement of points.
- Add move options
- The zoom panning tool is renamed to move drawing space
- Ability to select piece and move it on the drawing space
Grading is the process of applying dimensional changes to an object so that the object either grows or shrinks. This process results in the creation of a new size. The object grows or shrinks based on rules (coordinate changes) applied to selected points. The resulting new object is placed on a new layer and used as a relative reference point for the next size larger or smaller.
- Utilize the layers tool for grading.
- Be able to define color and/or line type for each size
- Be able to identify the base size and the size range for each object.
- When a grade point is selected a pop-up window appears with the ability to enter the desired dimensional changes.
- Be able to nest the resulting sizes on a selected stack point.
- Save the nested pieces with the base pattern and have the ability to turn sizes (layers) on or off.
- Be able to measure a line and have the results returned either for only the base size or the graded sizes.
- Create radial, and perimeter grading options.
This feature would allow for the collection of required data for manufacturing. The information could be entered on pre-configured spreadsheets or forms that can be exported for use by other office suites.
- The ability to group pattern pieces together and define (and save) them as a style.
- Create a cutting ticket that contains information on quantity, direction, match points, etc. for cutting the style.
- Be able to scan fabric swatches, spec drawings and include this information with the style.
- Create pattern measurement spec charts.
- Ability to select a pattern piece/object and move it on the drawing space easily.
- Ability to change the preferences of the drawing space and have it save to a profile that loads at program start.
- Ability to create a custom tool palette with frequently used tools.
- Calculate fabric requirements
- Plot out marker for cutting
- Select pieces to move, rotate within the defined space
- Automatically calculate the total number of pieces based on the cut ratio for the size range and style.
- Limit piece rotation to the grainline (defined direction) of the pattern piece with the ability to override.