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Unraveling the Mysteries of Digitizing Software

(April 2008) posted on Tue Apr 29, 2008

This article offers advice on selecting the appropriate digitizing software for your embroidery operation.

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By Ed Levy

Stage 3: digitization In this stage the digitizer either traces the shapes of a scanned image through the use of drawing tools or automatic shape-recognition systems. Each shape has a stitch type, density, and stitch direction applied. All embroidery, regardless of how simple or complex, is composed of four different stitch types: manual, run, satin, and fill. Breaking shapes into a series of less complex shapes helps clearly identify which stitch types should be utilized in each situation.

Autodigitizing is a term that describes digitizing software’s ability to automatically draw the shapes and decide which stitch types, stitch directions, and densities to use. The success of automatic digitizing is largely based on the design. A very clean, clear, and simple logo that doesn’t have a lot of intersecting shapes autodigitizes more effectively than a fuzzy, complex design. Autodigitizing is a valuable tool for stitch-count estimation and for simple designs. One of its drawbacks is that more complex shapes can cause confusion when the software attempts to set stitch angles, especially at intersections.

Stage 4: proofing Stitching out and evaluating a completed design allows you to check for any problems, such as misregistration, puckering, and even excessive thread breaks. Make any necessary changes to the design and, if needed, generate a new proof. Unfortunately, proofing is one of the most commonly skipped stages. It’s critical, especially for the new digitizer, to personally sew out completed designs in order to see any mistakes and fix them before starting production.

Stage 5: production A properly digitized design is one that complements production and runs smoothly and efficiently. Poorly digitized and inherently problematic designs can be production nightmares. Examples of problems within a design include specific areas of repeated thread breaks or needle breaks. These errors significantly slow down production and can turn a job from profitable to a disaster in a heartbeat. Other factors that contribute to reduced production and increased cost are unnecessary color changes and trims. The expenses associated with a poorly digitized design quickly overshadow the cost savings of a properly digitized one.


Software selection


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