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MPanel Software

Tensile fabric structure designers can now have a complete set of tools, running in industry standard CAD software, AutoCAD. And as our software runs in many older versions of AutoCAD, releases 14 through to 2009, you don't have to buy the latest AutoCAD version to use our MPanel products! See below for a short description of our MPanel products.

MPanel, our flagship software product, incorporates a set of design tools into a user friendly interface to assist tensile fabric designers. MPanel works inside AutoCAD as a floating tool bar, and manipulates your AutoCAD drawing from the initial relaxation of a mesh to the final production panels for you to send to your plotter or cutter.

MPanel was developed to assist tensile fabric structure designers, but works equally well on other projects, such as tents, awnings, exhibition stands, and inflatable structures

MPanel is a very flexible tool, used in different ways on different jobs, but a typical job could go through the following steps:

  • Start AutoCAD and MPanel.

  • Draw the model in AutoCAD using specified entities.

  • Relax the model using MPanel.

  • Produce Visualizations for client approval.

  • Use MPanel to estimate a materials bill.

  • Do a rough stress estimation using MPanel.

  • Create the panels using MPanel.

  • Use MPanel to compensate the panels.

  • Use MPanel to apply a seam allowance.

  • Productionise the panels using MPanel.

  • Output the panels.

MPanel software is our 3D design and 2D production application with tools specific for the design and manufacturing of tensile structures.  It allows you to create, refine and tweak a 3D CAD model that exactly simulates a fabric membrane (mesh) over or attached to a rigid framework, fixed points or cables.  Different amounts of tension can then be applied to both the fabric and any cables to study what happens to the overall shape and fit.  This model can then be rendered to provide the end client with a realistic view of the finished structure before any construction takes place.

Once the desired look is achieved, a user can then extract from that 3D model the 2D panels (in any direction and panel width) that are needed to produce that design.  MPanel also provides all of the production tools like material compensation (to account for any fabric stretch), seam or weld allowances and panel ordering and annotations.  An optional Nesting Feature is available which takes any number of 2D panels and automatically arranges them to be cut out by a large format cutting system.  MPanel software is available for both the AutoCAD and Rhino3D CAD platforms.

MPanel Design software includes all of the 3D design tools of MPanel, but does not have any of the 2D production capabilities.  This product is generally used by architects, designers and engineers who do not actually produce the fabric components.  The drawing file from MPanel Design is 100% compatible with MPanel so the design from an architect can be instantly read into and produced by anyone using the full version of MPanel.  MPanel Design is available for both the AutoCAD and Rhino3D CAD platforms. For engineering purposes the mesh produced is also fully compatible with MP FEA allowing the mesh model to be analyzed.

MPanel FEA.  Once the 3D model is developed with either MPanel or MPanel Design; it can be directly opened into our fabric engineering solution, MPanel FEA (Finite Element Analysis). Environmental factors such as wind and snow loads can be applied to the fabric structure as well as any point loads required by the design and the resulting reactions output in a variety of means including tabular spreadsheet and/or full color graphical format.  Reaction points of the fabric along any rigid structural member can even be output and transferred into many other popular engineering packages for analysis of the structural members.

 

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