WinTess: Easy to Use Non-linear Analysis Software for Membrane Structures
Tensile structures, or in another name Textile Architecture, is one in which most of the structural elements are subjected to tensile stresses. Tensile forces are supported by linear elements (strings, ropes, cables, tendons, load tapes, etc. ) and surfaces ( tarpaulins, membranes, fabrics, films, sheets, etc.)
But tensile stresses are not the only ones. Often these tensile stresses will not go directly to the fixed supports, foundations, anchors, etc., but are transferred to other elements that support compression (poles, arches, etc.) or bending (beams, arches, etc.). The origin of this type of architecture is quite old considering nomadic constructions even in ancient times or textile accessories in buildings of all types with shadows, rain protection, etc. The design of this construction type usually require different expertise, both in the design phase and in the execution. And much of this knowledge are very important in the specific software support. WinTess is a suite of software dedicated to facilitate the tasks of design, analysis and fabrication in the field of textile architecture..
The WinTess3 is the latest version of the software that was created as the focus of my PhD thesis in 1981. At that time the software was called TESS and written in FORTRAN using punch cards for computers without any kind of graphical output (or graphical screen or plotter). Results were purely alpha-numeric. Afterwards the program evolved to its present modern architecture with images on screen and graphical outputs to printers and plotters. The programming language also followed a parallel evolution path from FORTRAN to QuickBASIC and Visual Basic, finally to Xojo. With widely adoption of Windows (circa 1992), the software was renamed as WinTess. WinTess is currently at a production level of 3 and supports open graphical library OpenGL and both operating system platforms; Microsoft Windows® and Macintosh®.
Lastly, success of WinTess was not possible without the teamwork of our dedicated developers, programmers and beta testers. Specific thanks should go to Onart Membrane Structures which has contributed to the development using WinTess in real life projects for over 15 years.
Simplicity and capability in design and analysing tensile membrane systems are the basic pillars of WinTess. Myself and my team have always strived for a software which is easy to learn and easy to use but powerful.
Prof. Dr. Ramon Sastre
Creator of WinTess