13 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2018 10:24 AM by Paul Salvador

    Fabric design with solidworks

    Albert Parés

      Good afternoon, I am designing a tent and I need to cover the structure with fabric. It is not important for the design, but simply to be able to make good renders to make the presentation.

      This is an image of the structure.


      I do not know how to start or what to do, so any help is useful to me.




      Mensaje editado por: Albert Parés

        • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
          Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

          you can cover it as surface. Could you attach your file?

          • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
            Albert Parés

            Of course!


            this is the download link (I don't know if there is a simpler way to do it)



            • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
              Paul Salvador

              Hello Albert,.. the easiest way, imho.. is to create/add a part into the asm and copy the surfaces for one the triangles on the outer tubing.. and then create boundary/loft surfaces.. and pattern.. (image attached)


              • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
                Albert Parés

                For now I have done this:


                Surely I have not done it in the fastest or most convenient way but the result looks like what I was looking for.

                Later I will try to cover the part above. Thanks for all your help!

                • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
                  Tom Gagnon

                  Albert, I've been following this thread with curiosity and your effort looks great. I do not mean to criticize, but rather to broaden the discussion, perhaps helpfully. I realize there is normally a perceptual disconnect between ideal model-space and visual reality, which I am trying to understand better how to bridge that gap in flexible tension-paneled structures like a tent. I used to crew a sailboat, so I'm kinda familiar with some terms and concepts of dynamic fabric shape and behavior, but not extensively.


                  From images, I can't tell if the 'panels' are flat surfaces or if they have a natural sag to them. The awning clearly has a 1-directional sag. How did you determine how much sag to add; was it just an eyeballed SWAG sketch?


                  One of the reasons I've been curious about this is that I have a parallel application, where I have a planar surface modeled of a wall enclosure panel, where in reality it is a convex fabric-like surface of plastic sheeting which is billowed out by batt insulation inside the wall. In practical sense, I do not need to model a photo-realistic product for industrial purposes, but I'd like to understand more. While I could make a rectangular dome-like surface for my billowed sheeting, it lacks the finer details of cloth, deformities! Corner binds, a wavy shape (neither furl nor luff satisfies this concept correctly but I lack the right word for it), even a realistic slight pear-shaping where the insulation pushes inward less at the top of the wall than at the bottom. I can imagine leaving the wrinkles out, or applying if relevant.


                  Some realistic fabric details like this would be real nice to know how to model, which is what I'd hoped to gain from your thread:


                  (Sample image found via Google Images, did not pay attn to source website.)

                  It's really the wavy tension deformities shown in the right of this image that I wanted to know how to model, but this image also demonstrates wrinkles, sags, and billows.


                  Another helpful item I'd hoped to understand is a wind billow. That is, on the windward side, exterior surfaces appear concave. On the leeward side, exterior surfaces appear convex. On the surfaces in between windward and leeward, a mixed luff or slack surface shows. To me, this modelling detail allows a rendered image to more accurately convey the image you'd get from a picture, instead of an unrealistically simplified and ideal non-physical world as shown in assembly instruction diagrams.


                  A more complex fabric modelling challenge would be a sail batten, a flexible insert in a sail, which is neither rigid nor fabric. a batten flexes to help a sail hold its airfoil shape, or trim its trailing edge. My point in adding it here is that where a tent has poles to guide its deformities, a mainsail has battens to guide slightly different deformities. They are finer, and more dynamic, on a sail, but a pucker here or there from tension is a realistic effect. Side note: now I understand why there's a motor yacht modeling tutorial for sale but not a sailboat modeling tutorial that I know of.


                  If this was only a 2d world or task or output, I'd airbrush this into the image in Photoshop. Realistically, this is the simplest way to do it with some radial gradient tools, layer mask & transparency, and smudge/burnish/airbrush to finish.


                  Once I see your context image of tent on a grassy plot of land, It occurred to me that its pristine, clean look fails to cross the uncanny valley between representation and realism. You could really knock the theater company's wigs and garters (or socks) off with realism.


                  Does anyone have tips, experience, examples, or history of modelling these fabric deformities which are common to most tensile structures? Have you modeled a waving flag? Is there a library feature sort of detail which can be added to any fabric corner to include some tension waves, maybe focused around a grommet hole? Are there any advanced tools within Simulation with which to apply a wind load upon tensile structures and have it automatically apply some stresses, deformities, waves, and billows to the result?

                    • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
                      Albert Parés

                      As you can see, my English is quite simple, but I think I understood it.


                      It would be fantastic to achieve a more realistic of the fabric, but as I said this is not very important to me, because the central part of my design is the structural and mechanical part, so the fabric is only to have an explanatory image of the tent. Of course, if someona knows how get these waves I will be happy to apply it!


                      I update my design with the central part done:


                      • Re: Fabric design with solidworks
                        Paul Salvador

                        Hey Tom,.. so,. you're wanting to use something like freeform (nurbs), subd (modo, zbrush,..) or organic modeling (3rd party add-on's)?..  As is, we can build/manipulate some of it in using fill and adding curves/points.. or directly using "Freeform" Feature (which, imho, is NOT true freeform... that is, we do not have traditional surface manipulation tools, like u/v, mesh, knots, cage, control points,.. or, for instance, referencing Rhino3D tools.


                        To continue this discussion.. maybe find/start a thread on organics - fabric - cloth - manipulation?  (or, keep it here?)

                        (or maybe after 2019 shows some of the Mesh (displacement map) stuff they've been talking about??)