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Apparel STEP Translator



Howard T. Moncarz, Yung-Tsun Lee


This paper describes the implementation of a prototype computer program for translating apparel pattern data between different file storage formats. The software demonstrates the feasibility of using a single, standard format as a mechanism for exchanging data between dissimilar pattern-design systems. It is an implementation of an information model previously developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for apparel pattern data.

The software was developed as part of an ongoing project at NIST to extend the emerging international standard, STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP), to apparel applications. The project is sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency and the work is being carried out in cooperation with the Computer Integrated Manufacturing committee of the American Apparel Manufactures Association (AAMA). In the short term, the project goal is to develop a neutral data format for exchanging two-dimensional pattern data between apparel CAD systems. In the longer term, the goal is to develop an information model that can be used to encompass the entire apparel life cycle. This achievement would allow all the processes involved in the apparel life cycle to share the same data.

NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 4612
Report Number


apparel pattern data, file storage formats, standard format, internation standard


Moncarz, H. and Lee, Y. (1991), Apparel STEP Translator, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created December 31, 1990, Updated October 12, 2021