Integration of computer aided design (CAD) technology in apparel design curricula

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

The purposes of this study were to assess student attitudes toward CAD technology and use, to determine the efficient use of computer-aided design (CAD) systems in the design curriculum, and to investigate the current use of CAD at other colleges and universities in the United States with apparel design programs.

A questionnaire was administered to students enrolled in a computer-aided design course to determine previous computer experience, previous design courses taken, and attitudes toward the use of computers. Another questionnaire that focused on the student’s attitudes toward the two CAD systems used in the class was administered after completion of the final assignment. The students in the apparel design course had positive attitudes toward computers and the usage of CAD as a tool for design applications. The students preferred to use the Lectra system and felt that it was the most efficient CAD system to use for assignments in the apparel design course. However, further study needs to be conducted concerning the efficient use of CAD in apparel design courses.

A questionnaire was mailed to faculty at universities with apparel design programs to determine how CAD was being used in the curriculum, the type(s) of CAD system(s) being used, and the future plans for CAD in the curriculum. Frequency and percentage distributions were used to analyze the data. The data collected from educators teaching CAD at other colleges and universities in the United States indicate that CAD is being used in the classroom to teach flat pattern techniques (18%), pattern grading (16%), and marker making (16%). Thirty-three apparel design programs were using IBM computers to teach CAD with 14 programs using MicroDesign equipment to teach CAD. The programs that were using IBM computers or compatibles were using AutoCAD software (39%).

The results also showed a significant increase in the number of programs with CAD in the curriculum from 21 between 1982 and 1989 to 38 between 1990 and 1993. This indicated that apparel design programs realized the importance of integrating CAD into the design curriculum to better prepare students for employment in the apparel industry.