With 3D software, a designer can choose from an array of options—no physical samples are needed.

With 3D software, a designer can choose from an array of options—no physical samples are needed.


SML Group To Put Trims on a 3D Spotlight


The Digitiz3D allows clients to customize its trims, labels, tags, buckles, buttons and packaging virtually.

Virtual showrooms have been increasingly popular since the COVID-19 pandemic put in-person meetings and events on hiatus. The SML Group has developed another way to virtually browse a garment’s details with its recently released Digitiz3D platform; however, its service will specifically focus on trims, labels, tags, buckles, buttons and packaging.

Digitiz3D is the latest digital product released by SML. The Hong Kong company started business in 1985 as a producer of soft-line trims. As the apparel industry increasingly automated its methods of production, more technology-enabled products were necessary. SML pivoted by focusing more on producing technology products such as RFID tags and solutions.

The more-recent Digitiz3D platform was enabled by 3D and augmented-reality technology, said Gary Moskovciak, SML’s senior vice president of the Americas region. Clients of SML will be able to use this digital service to evaluate how a myriad of buttons, heat transfers and tags would look on a specific item—rather than making physical samples of the item—and then testing out how a number of different details would look on the physical samples.

Moskovciak said that SML’s service was a crucial step because the fashion business is increasingly shifting to developing more of its work online. Details such as trims, buckles and labels also need to be part of this technological pivot, he said.

“Given today’s complex landscape of remote workforces, the challenges within the supply chain and logistics and the increasing demand for more-virtual, touchless experiences, 3D- and AR-technology adoptions have and will only continue to grow as a critical tool in retail’s arsenal,” he said.

Digitiz3D is an internal platform leveraging existing 3D and AR technologies that can be used in a couple of ways. Customers could use the 3D asset in a completely virtual environment. If they use an application downloaded from SML, they can use Digitiz3D with a physical garment. Here, the user would aim a phone or tablet over a specific part of a physical garment, then, by operating Digitiz3D’s AR capabilities, they can see how a button or a trim would look on a garment. The 3D assets will be made available from a library that SML will offer clients, Moskovciak said.

“You got to figure out the next step. Where is that label going to be placed?” Moskovciak asked. “What type of style, color, finish of hardware looks best? This is where our digitized software comes into play. We develop the assets onto our platform for customers. You have a pair of jeans, you can take hardware, buttons and rivets and you can apply different buttons to where the jean button goes.”

Digitiz3D also digitally streamlines another aspect of design, thereby rendering physical samples unnecessary, said Eric Rhyner, SML’s vice president of operations for the Americas. SML’s clients can use the company’s digital library to work on a garment totally virtually. With this option, the platform would complement 3D-modeling software, Rhyner said.

“Where this really shines is where you are working with designers and brands who are utilizing garment 3D-modeling software that exists today,” he said. “Our assets can be brought into the 3D-garment design that they have made.”