BlogDesign-Build Process

Tension Structure Design: The Software Solutions That Bring Your Project to Life

By July 8, 2019 November 11th, 2019 No Comments

Exploring the Engineering Process for Fabric Tension StructuresBeing a full-service design/build contractor, many of our clients come to us with a rough concept or basic vision, and the Tension Structure Design and Engineering Teams help to bring those ideas to life.  The design team’s expertise transforms those initial thoughts into visual concepts that fuse style with functionality.  Then, the engineering team begins its work to ensure the design is efficient, feasible, and meets the required design load criteria.

As you approach the design and engineering stages of your project, we wanted to pull back the curtain and give you a behind-the-scenes look into the powerful software programs that make it all possible.

Tension Structure Design Software - SketchUpSketchUp

SketchUp is 3D design and modeling software that’s ideal for everything from schematic designs to construction documentation.  For our team, it’s also ideal for creating beautiful 2D and 3D renderings to show our clients what the final design will look like when it’s all said and done.

  • Fabric Form Finding with Plug-in “Soap Skin”
  • 3D Warehouse with Existing Models
  • Preliminary Design Schemes
  • Export to DWG or DXF
  • Easy Renderings
  • Shade Studies

Tension Structure Design Software - MPanelThe MPanel Suite

MPanel offers a suite of software products that are tailored specifically for tension structure design and engineering projects.  MPanel Pro provides 3D form-finding and 2D patterning support as our designers work in AutoCAD and Rhino.

  • Offers a Fabric Form Finding Plug-in for AutoCAD
  • Supports Complex Shapes, including Cones, Hypars, and Custom
  • Creates Patterning for Cutting Tables
  • Provides Tension Ratio in Warp (Long Direction) & Weft (aka Fill)

MPanel FEA is Finite Element Analysis software that allows the engineering team to analyze the 3D models for reactions to environmental factors, including wind and snow loading.

  • Calculates Stress on Fabric and Cables
  • Identifies Displacement from Loads
  • Verifies Gradient to Prevent Ponding
  • Determines Reaction Loads

Tension Structure Design Software - RISARISA-3D

RISA-3D is a leading structural engineering software that streamlines engineering analyses and problem solving.  It’s packed with design codes for a wide range of materials and integrates with other leading RISA programs.

  • Runs FEA on Frame with Imported Fabric Loads
  • Determines Member Sizing and Cable Diameters
  • Provides Reaction Loads for Foundation Design

Tension Structure Design Software - SAPSAP2000

SAP2000 is often touted as the most integrated and practical “general purpose” structural program on the market – delivering solutions for structural analyses from simple 2D static frame analyses to complex 3D nonlinear variations.

  • Determines Member Sizing and Cable Diameters
  • Provides Reaction Loads for Foundation Design
  • Simulates Fabric Loads with a Cable Net
  • Runs FEA on Frame and Cables

Total Solution Software: Membrane NDN & ixForten 4000

Membrane NDN and ixForten 4000 are also core programs we use for engineering analyses and planning.  Both are often considered “total solution” programs because of their versatility.

  • Determines Fabric Stress, Member Sizing and Cable Diameters
  • Provides Reaction Loads for Foundation Design
  • Runs FEA on Fabric, Frame and Cables
  • Finds Potential Ponding Issues

Are You Ready to Get Started with Your Next Tension Structure Design?

In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects.  We provide expertise and support for architects, landscape designers, general contractors, and property owners to develop their custom tensile membrane project ideas and construct iconic structures.

Explore the options for your next project.  Contact one of our experts today by calling 800-422-6827.