In search of shape; aesthetic and resistant

Form finding of a tensile structure is one of the basic tasks in the design of tensile structures, those made of membranes, cables, etc. Form finding is a process to find a form for a structure which is capable of withstanding the significant load cases under certain restrictions such as maximum allowed deflection and stress, shows an even usage of the material and fulfills aesthetic requirements. The art of form finding means finding the optimal deflected and final visual shape due to a given stress distribution acting on the deformed structure.

Getting form of an entire tensile structure is not a very direct method, as we can easily end up warped surfaces, wrinkles, even under its own weight. Form finding is a process which can only be found through physical laws. Using simulation software is certainly the most common method currently used in the professional field thanks to its speed and the possibility of continuing with the production (from design to fabrication). However, success of the result is largely dependent on the quality of software used.

WinTess uses two methods to find the form:

  • Force density
  • Forced deformation