PAD patternmaking program thoughts?

I recently found out about PAD and how affordable it is! I’m curious to give it a try and am wondering if any patternmakers out there have used it/what you think of it?

It is okay, I bought it when I first started freelancing because I couldn’t afford Gerber at that point (~5 years ago). It was easy enough to pick up and learn, I didn’t find that the functionality was as robust as they claimed, the support was hit or miss. It definitely doesn’t have all the functionality of Gerber, Opti, etc., but is good enough in a pinch. The base price doesn’t include all the functionality you may need, so drill down on that before committing to purchasing, I wound up spending about double what I expected to, not realizing that the lowest price option didn’t include all that I thought it did. All the grading is “quick and dirty”, you can’t (or couldn’t at the time) build a grade table. They posited this as a plus, but I don’t agree, I like being able to apply the same grade table to multiple similar garments, instead of grading each on its own. I never figured out if you could measure graded line length which was a hug pain when double checking that my seams all would sew together. I didn’t have the ability to make markers, which was a huge minus, but it could open Gerber zips which was a plus.

1 Like

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Curious, since it sounds like you’ve used most of the programs out there- what’s your favorite?

I’ve been using Tukatech bc it’s cheaper (although, for what I need, it’s not nothing, but at least it’s subscription based). I also feel like I’m already underpaid and it’s so exploitative that Gerber charges what they charge, it’s truly absurd.

I think I still like Gerber best… but maybe it’s just the program I’m most familiar with.

I do like grading in Tuka and I find that it’s easier to go back and forth between programs / illustrator with Tuka. They seemed to have built it with more of a freelancer lifestyle in mind, where we have to constantly adjust what file types we are importing and exporting and don’t always have fancy equipment.

I’ve been using Gerber so long, it is my go-to. I’m in the same boat as you, I’m not sure that Gerber is my favorite, it is just the one I’m most familiar with. I don’t know what Tuka’s subscription price is (and I’m curious what you pay), I’ve been using Gerber’s subscription service (has been ~2400/year, is increasing to 4900/ year for 1 year commitment and 3100/year with a 3 year commitment for both PDS and GMS). I’m not freelancing much anymore, so can’t justify the expense, I’ll probably let it lapse and go with a combo of CLO and PAD since I already own PAD outright. If Tuka is more reasonable I may switch and see how I like it (I haven’t worked with it before).

If you do try PAD, I’m curious to hear about your experience with it as well.

Thanks for your feedback!

Tuka has a lot of subscription levels, but I think to export DXF files and also to illustrator you have to minimum pay $100/month, but I think I have some extra features, I’m at $200/month. It’s not the worst, but not nothing!

Tuka was hard at first for me to learn, it’s more point-based rather than vector based (this is my conjecture, no one has told me this so don’t quote me!). Everything revolves around points, where as with Gerber, you do more selecting of lines. I’ve found I have to learn new ways to accomplishing things, but I’ve gotten fairly good at it after a year. If you’ve used Optitex, Tuka is really similar in the way it’s setup/ the way the tools work, but I find Tuka significantly easier to use compared to Optitex. Optitex has way too many menus and way of doing things. Tuka just has the icons and drop downs, so it’s a lot easier to mosey your way through something without fully knowing what you’re doing.

I actually let my Tuka license expire and I’ve been trying to do everything in CLO, but I’m finding it’s just not that efficient. I Haven’t decided if I’m not good at CLO yet or if it’s just not made for this kind of thing. The grading tools in CLO are tricky and to me, not as easy to use. I spent practically a whole day today trying to grade a fairly simple style. I think I’m coming to the conclusion that you need CLO PLUS another patternmaking CAD program… although I don’t want to quite give in yet! the one great thing about CLO is that they do have lot of online resources and a great forum… none of the other patternmaking programs have anything similar that I’ve found!

I’ll let you know if/when I use PAD! :slight_smile: Thanks again for your thoughts!

1 Like

All good to know, I need to just get into CLO and practice drafting. I’ve only done 3D renders of existing DXFs, so haven’t spent much time in it drafting. I guess that gives me a good next project to tackle.

1 Like