Design Engineering
Showcase

Unmade

Team
Customer Success
Supervisor
Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara
Role
Implementation Intern
Sector
Sustainability

UNMADE has reimagined both the design and manufacturing processes within the industry producing its own and unique software, UnmadeOS. The startup was first renowned for its innovative technology for custom knit. Short after, the company evolved to cater to larger companies allowing them to create personalised on-demand products.

Sustainability, software, and fashion are my main interests which presented Unmade as a unique opportunity. The projects I worked on not only save time for the company but directly contributed to positive feedback from our clients. Overall, my placement has broadened my knowledge and interpersonal skills being a great success.

 — Unmade

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

Through my placement, I have learnt essential soft skills and valuable hard skills. I got an overview of deep learning and computer vision as I was following a course on this topic to apply it to one of my projects. I got the chance to employ my previous knowledge of genetic algorithms to automate and optimise the process of nesting panels. I have attained experience optimising SVGs. This vector format is extensively used for e-commerce, and it is an important skill to have. It improves loading times and responsiveness, a key factor for user satisfaction within e-commerce.

Moreover, I gained a better perspective for 3D objects and making these look realistic as I was working daily with garment renders. I got to understand the fashion industry from a different perspective and insight over a medium-sized software company making a positive impact. Unmade allows companies to adapt to fast-fashion without waste. Moreover, with on-demand production, brands can sell all their products at full price whereas (these are produced once they have been ordered) only 45-60 percent otherwise.

Agile principles ensure that the company is ever-evolving with technology and fashion as they are on a constant verge of change. They embrace change-making progress visible to everyone and guaranteeing constant feedback. Novelty is always welcome, learning from each other is encouraged, sharing their passions and work developments regularly. These principles are well aligned with the design engineering principles hence why I readily joined the team and promptly picked up their style of operating.

 — Unmade
Workflow of the Unmade system.

Role and Contributions

As an Implementation Intern at Unmade, I helped optimise several processes saving the company time and making a positive impact on the customers. My primary work was to set up products in our software for different clients. These products will be showing up on our client’s e-commerce sites for their customers to personalise and buy. These garments will then be manufactured on-demand.

During my time at Unmade, I set up over 80 products from different clients. The number of products set up was a record as it surpassed the number of products set up since the company established.

I also worked on a couple of self-led projects which I proposed to my manager in the latter part of my placement. The first project was about panel nesting, mentioned before; this feature will now save the client in question 600 sqm of textile per 1000 units produced. This is not only more sustainable but also economically advantageous.

 — Unmade

The second project consisted of finding a way to make one of our editors more efficient. By optimising the SVGs used as overlaid patterns on the digital garment in the editor it effectively reduced the loading time which resorted in positive feedback from the client. Finally, I created a plan to implement AI and CV to the tasks I was working on daily to make them automatic, saving effort and time for the company.

I also conducted workshops showing other teammates the new features to be used in the future. Besides, earlier in the placement, I convoyed a workshop that started with the ideation of new features for the platform and continued with a discussion and a grading system to prioritise them properly and communicate to the engineering team. Finally, I conducted some of our daily stand up meetings where we explain our goals for the day and achievements from the day before.

Summary

My placement at Unmade has been a great opportunity to really increase my soft skills. Learning work etiquette, living by their values, and evolving as a team member has been very valuable. My advice is very simple but I believe essential and sometimes disregarded:

  • Do not be afraid to ask many questions (you will learn a lot more)
  • Communicate your point of view (when appropriate that is). People like to hear constructive feedback from a new perspective.
 — Unmade
The 5 company values.

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