How to Make a Pattern Using the Gerber Digitizer

By Mercedes Valladares ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Rough pattern
  • Gerber digitizer
  • Tape
  • Digitizing puck
  • Pattern-making software program
  • Scanner

One of the benefits of using a Gerber Digitizer to make or alter patterns is the program integration feature. Pattern makers and technical designers can copy and paste measurements to design as well as grade patterns. You can import appliqués, screen graphics and embroideries from other programs for pattern placement, preventing production positioning errors. Users may also create or alter markers, an industry term referring to production-ready patterns. As most manufacturers incorporate pattern-making computer-driven components such as pattern-making software, fabric cutters and plotters, integrating the Gerber Digitizer results in smoother production runs.

Position the rough pattern onto the high-resolution digitizing tablet. Tape it directly to the tablet. If you are working with an industry digitizer, the Gerber workstation has a table with a menu and a 16-button cursor or digitizing puck, which is a digitizing tablet input accessory.

Trace the pattern outline with the digitizing puck by capturing points around the perimeter of each pattern piece. For example, if you are making a front bodice pattern, place the puck at the high point shoulder (HPS). The puck works by detecting its exact position on the tablet, such as around a pattern. The puck device, referred to as a “mouse,” is available in a variety of sizes and is often not shaped like a mouse. Industry puck devices have a loupe, also referred to as a reticule. This feature allows the user to view the puck’s position for accurate and precise pattern tracing through a clear circle located at the top of the device. Horizontal and vertical intersecting lines resembling a cross are used as a grid or graph.

Align the puck’s grid over the starting perimeter point. For instance, to draw the bodice’s center front, align the puck’s vertical grid line over the bodice’s vertical center front. Continue to trace along the center front line.

Repeat Step 3 until you have traced all sides of the pattern with the digitizing puck. Keep in mind that the tracing will not appear on the digitizing tablet. The pattern appears in the compatible pattern-making software program’s screen, such as AccuMark or CutWorks.

Scan camera-ready artwork into the software program. This is especially important if the finished garment has embroidery, appliqué work or screened graphics. Use the edit tool feature to smooth jagged edges, fill in details or resize it to fit the exact marked pattern location on the screen. Save all changes in a separate computer file for future grading or changes to the pattern after fit sessions. Another option is to import designs from various file formats, such as .DXF, .AI, .EPS or .PLT.

Enter pattern dimensions or special pattern notes in the digitizing puck. Or, integrate the programs and copy and paste the specifications or notes from the Gerber Digitizer to your existing pattern-making software.

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.