Making Prototypes

Carla Smile Machine.jpg

Some of you have been asking for a tour of our prototyping facility.  Today we take you on a behind-the-scenes tour to show you the steps of the prorotyping process.


Armed with the data described in this Blog Post, the process starts at the virtual drafting table:  a computer with CAD-based design software. Patterns are created and modified on the computer, which allows for precision drafting and quick modifications if they become necessary. 

Once an electronic pattern is in a form that is ready to be tested and sewn, it gets printed to scale on a large plotter printer. The paper pattern is cut manually into the individual pieces and laid out over the fabric chosen for the prototype, usually fabric similar to the final production fabric. The paper pattern guides the fabric cutting and has the appropriate seam allowance. All cutting of prototypes is manually done with a rotary cutter or a sturdy pair of scissors

At this point in the prototyping process the cutting tables are clear and neat and the 60" wide fabric can be spread across the length of the long tables. However, this image is a more accurate representation of what the cutting studio typically looks like in the midst the frantic launch process: total chaos!

When the fabric pattern pieces are cut and marked, they move to the sewing studio, a separate room where multiple industrial sewing machines are kept and coddled. These machines aren't your grandmother's sewing machines... they are very fast and powerful and each specializes in a different seam. They assure a professional finish to the prototypes.

After the factory elves such as this one sprinkle a little magic over the process, the prototypes are ready for trial at senior communities or feedback from caregivers!