Pattern Digitizing, Plotting + Cutting Patterns



The CalComp Roll Up digitizer is used for inputting paper patterns into Optitex or Illustrator for an accurate/proportional transfer of digital information to the computer/software. The digitizer tablet is connected to the desktop computer in the Textile Innovation Lab, but can be moved to any computer with Optitex software installed, a USB connection, and enough space to roll out the digitizing tablet itself.

Follow the instructions in the video on how to digitize a pattern using Optitex PDS digitization tools. You can also use the document attached for further written instructions on how to digitize your patterns.

CALCOMP III 3648 Roll-Up Pattern Digitizer



    1. Open PDS19 (Optitex Pattern Digitizing Software)

    2. Once the software is open, Go to: File > Digitizer > Digitize

    3. Roll back the clear vinyl sheet over the digitizer.

    4. Place patterns on the digitizer table surface face up (grain= baseline in Optitex)

    5. Smooth the vinyl sheet over the patterns to hold them flat and in place. Make sure that all pieces fit on the digitizer surface

    1. Start digitizing:

  • Use the 16 button cursor (mouse) to trace the outline of the pattern.

              1. One click will set a point. Start on a corner (CF or CB neckline is a good starting place) You will hear a beep when you depress the button.

  • Work clockwise around the pattern

  • *most important is to line up crosshairs on the cursor when making the point.

  • Add ALL the pattern information that you can when you digitize if possible (at least a reference point to be edited later) Add enough points to hold the shape. You can always edit later.

  • *Add points outside of dart legs for structure.

Cursor Buttons:

  • You will see the program settings for each button on the cursor in the digitize window. Use these to accurately apply different types of lines/points when digitizing your pattern.

Start with 1. curves are 3. add notches and darts as you go around the pattern. 2. to close. B to add baseline at the end.

  1. Non-Grade Point

  1. Closes the shape

  1. Curve

  1. Grade Point

  1. Notch

  1. Straight Line

1.D. First dart leg

D. Dart Tip

1.Second Dart leg

B. Baseline

F. Internal contours (F. To begin. 1. 1. 3. 1. etc. F to exit)

  • Click DONE on screen.

  • You will see the piece appear in the pattern window. From here you can manipulate, copy and add additional info to the pattern as needed, or trace repeat the above steps to digitize more pattern pieces.

  • Add internal markings


  • name each of your pattern pieces within the PDS file as you go along.

  • Modify the patterns in the software as needed.


  • Save 2 versions of your file-

    • 1 should be an OPTITEX PDS file (working file in case you need to make changes later)

    • 2 should be your export file (in whatever format you need)

        • GO to FILE > DATA EXCHANGE > EXPORT TO CAD/CAM FILES > SAVE AS .DXF, or .AI file format for export to use at your discretion (print, fill with color, manipulate in Adobe programs, etc.)


Piece Anatomy:

Points: Grade Curve, Grade Non-Curve, Non-Grade Curve, and Non-Grade Non-Curve

  • Double click a point to modify

Seam Allowance:

Appears as a dotted line and is turned on/off with the sewing machine button in the toolbar.

*You should always be working from the sew line. Viewable inside or outside depending on the active sew line.

*If the cut line is active, switch. Check the status bar to check this.


New Piece

Piece > Rt. Click in working area

Rectangle measure tool

Add to or subtract from is also good

Basic Figures tool

Rt click @the top

Drag outside of the pieces to create a new shape or inside the piece to add internal shape

Draft Tool:

Draw internals on existing piece or create a new piece

My favorite tools > Contour > OR Hotkey “D”

*Click ALT to get dialog box

*Hold shift for curve

Choose behavior-

Absolute= specific measurement

Proportion= defines a percentage

To exit Draft:

Rt click and finish drafting OR double rt click

F2 makes a straight line across

Rt click to switch to select tool


Select Piece

Go to : Seam > set basic seam

Dialog box: Set SA width

Inside shape: -0.5 (inside ½ inch)

Outside shape 0.5 (outside ½ Inch)

Check to make sure that piece properties > behavior > lock auto reseam is NOT checked


The plotter/cutter is used for printing and cutting out digital sewing patterns. Patterns can be digitized using the CalComp pattern digitization table, using Optitex PDS, CLO or Adobe Illustrator software. The printer driver is called PLOT, and is installed on the desktop computer in the WFL. The Velocity Inkjet / Cutting technology is available in one head and one cutting tool, it can print using a standard HP cartridge. For pattern making plotting and cutting / perforating up to 49 inches.

Files should be saved/exported as .PLT files or .DXF from the design software that you are using.

The cost for plotting/cutting is $0.25/linear inch or $3 per linear foot, and can be paid via Bearcat Card. Please ask for assistance when you are ready to plot/cut. A FTC team member will help you get your files queued up and printed.

CZ Model Control Center.pdf

Links to help with maintenance on the Velocity Plotter/Cutter:

How to clean your cartridge.mp4

How to clean your print cartridge

How to take the cartridge out of your plotter 2018+.mp4

How to take the ink cartridge out

How to oil your Velocity Plotter.mp4

How to oil the plotter

How to put on the paper Vector.mp4

How to load the paper