I recently met Lacey Bell from Fire Fly Line through an event with Fashion Group International of Chicago. Her company offers 3D prototyping for apparel and sewn products, and I was interested to find out more, so we met for lunch so she could give me some information and a software demo.
This tool is such a compliment to the traditional pattern and sample development process. While it doesn't eliminate the need for fabric samples completely, it's a great way to try new things with existing patterns and get more bang for your buck. I know many of my clients could benefit from this, especially when testing design iterations such as changing fabrics (or colors), hem length, sleeve or neckline variations, etc. In essence, you can see and test samples before making cutting into different fabrics, and save some time and cost.
Read some tips for creating a faster garment fit process and how 3D prototyping can benefit you. I shared one of my tips in here too!