I FINALLY got one! I've been eying these since I started fiddling around with pattern making. But they're kinda expensive. I had an architect friend come over to help me learn Autocad in lieu of buying one of these but ultimately I wanted one. Autocad worked okay but it required a lot of steps and number checking.
So I broke down and bought a used one on eBay for a deeply discounted price which I feel was appropriate and it arrived in the mail yesterday which is why I didn't post anything all day. It took about that long to find all the appropriate electronics to hook it up with. Part of the reason it was cheaper was because it came without a power cord so I had to search all my old cord stashes for one that fit. Then it required a 9-pin serial port to hook up to the computer which my laptop lacked so I had to pull out my old Dell from the basement, clean it up and bring it back to life. THEN I had to install all the software and drivers. THEN I had to learn how to use the thing!
Basically a digitizer will input the outline of your design into a CAD format which you can use to grade later in a CAD program. I have a pattern all set and ready to be inputted in TODAY! Remember the Downtown Holiday Jacket and Pant? I've had this pattern for ages and just never did anything with it. Still debating whether or not to grade it for purchase or leave it ungraded as a free pattern for anyone to download.
Hopefully I'll have something by the end of the day to work with. Let's cross our fingers and see;)