How to choose a CAD system

When your company needs to expand its business and you decide to invest in a CAD system, try to make your decision by analyzing the features that can make the difference between all the cad systems available on the market:

  • Ask several competitors to make you full demonstrations in parallel, processing a product through all technical phases: design, grading, checking, altering, digitizing, marker making. Forget about the system's name and compare the features step by step.
  • For each system, analyze carefully if the automatic marker making module is included, what is the speed and efficiency of this module. Ask if there are any supplementary modules for higher performance ask the about the price of each module.
  • Ask for the user manual and all support documentation in your language. Beside it's practical utility, the user manual is a proof of the system's manufacturer dedication to help and to provide high quality support for the customer.
  • Ask for the draft contract and check out all written specifications about training, service, warranty, technical support. Analyze all costs for later personnel training in case you are expanding or changing the team.
  • Analyze the system capability to import and export patterns and markers from/to other cad systems. The system should be able to import from standard DXF AAMA format, as well as from native format of other systems, like Lectra, Gerber, Assyst or Investronica. If the conversion modules are not included in the basic configuration, ask for the supplementary price.
  • Check the maintenance and operation costs for the plotter: ink, pens, paper. Avoid equipments that use expensive consumables, which can be bought only from restricted sources. Look for equipments that use popular, affordable ink or pens, which be purchase from many suppliers.
  • If you are not sure about the utility of a CAD system in your company, or how it is going to be integrated into your technical flow, ask for trial period. This is the best way to check if a certain system is what you need, without any risk.
  • Ask for references from other customers. Look for companies that are the same scale and profile as your company, and maybe manufacturing the same range of textile products. Try to communicate directly to the people involved in the CAD department. Don't ask for a good/bad answer; try to find out as many details as possible.
  • Check out how the customer can obtain the new versions of the software, and the costs, if there are any. Visit the website of the manufacturer to see if there are available for download the updates or the new versions of the software.