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Software / About / 

Formfinder is a design software that is as easy to operate as a sheet of paper and a pencil.
Formfinder assists architects and project planners in the design, planning and cost-effectiveness assessment for the implementation of tensile membrane structures. Tensile membrane structures are made of flexible non-rigid materials ranging from, for instance, a simple awning to "textile façades" and the roofing over sports stadiums.
The Formfinder software generates a productive dialogue between the client, the architect, the structural planner and the manufacturer of the materials used.
A sketch is drawn by hand of a spatial model that is examined in terms of its physical, geometrical and architectural characteristics. This examination is necessary for every design, since tensile membrane structures cannot be described in terms of shape and geometry easily in drawings. The reason for this is in the direct influence that the material characteristics have on the desired geometry and shape.
Formfinder makes it possible to compare the desired design with projects that have already been implemented. As a result, FORMFINDER is a kind of "Google for tensile membrane structures". Knowing what has already been built, when, by whom, where and how is of considerable commercial value and forms the basis for every successful implementation project.

Formfinder Light free through support of our sponsors.
Formfinder Professional under licence.

Formfinder Light and Formfinder Professional  are the property of Robert Roithmayr, and represent an independent platform for the encouragement for architectural high quality membrane constructions.

MEMBRANE MASTER: Application NOW!

Danube University Krems Austria (Vienna)
Application NOW!
Spring 2017 first module in Austria

Target group: Building Professionals - Architects, Engineers, Building Experts in private or public sector
Admission requirements: Post-graduate program with strict selection procedure based on a quality ranking system including a personal online interview with the program director
Language: English
Certificate: Master of Engineering (MEng)
Duration: Part-time, 4 semesters (2 years), 90 ECTS
Course fee: EUR 16.900
Organizer: Department for Building and Environment


Lightweight Membrane Structures are made of flexible, non-rigid materials ranging from simple sails up to stadium roofs. State of the art building materials and the latest fabrication technologies are combined with the highest engineering knowledge provided by the world leading experts in the field of Lightweight Membrane Structures.

The so called "top secrets" will be fully revealed within the program. Participants will enhance their professional career and will prepare themselves for the interdisciplinary and innovative professional future.Become an authority in the consulting, planning and execution of Lightweight Membrane Structures projects and be part of our powerful network of experts! Start a lifetime interdisciplinary career in the field of Lightweight Membrane Structures!

Click here or on image for more information.

Bill Moss: Fabric Artist & Designer

With the book made by Marilyn Moss the life and work of one of America’s most innovative fabric artists and designers is traced: BILL MOSS. For more information on the book open the Literature Finder.

3D Model
The Formfinder Team made one of the great designs in Formfinder. If you click here you can download the Formfinder model and the 3d DXF model.

Download Video
If you like to download the tutorial video click here (Windows WMF 37 MB)
or here for (Apple Quick Time MOV 51 MB)

YouTube
If you like to view the tutorial video click on the Formfinder screenshot or here.

Senftenberg IF_Group

Horst Dürr of the IF_Group and Robert Roithmayr elaborated the design of the stage cover "Senftenberg". More information is in the Project Finder (direct or iPhone).

To start YouTube Video click here or on image.

Literature Finder

The so called "Literature Finder" is a list of publications on Lightweight Membrane Structures and related fields of research. The Formfinder Development Team is involved in many designs and projects and made valuable research over 15 years. This research is now brought together in one database. Part of the developement of this "Formfinder Knowledge Center" is also te list of literature which can be found here. If you are interested in more information please feel free contacting us.

Frei Otto Film Project: Spanning The Future

This documentary will profile internationally-renowned architect and engineer, Frei Otto. Half a century ago, Otto became world famous as a pioneer in the design of tensile structures made from metal armatures and lightweight membranes.
For Otto, the mission of architecture is to be harmonious with nature. He believes every detail needs to be in agreement with the laws of the universe. This attempt to reconcile development with the natural world makes Frei Otto a prophet to the modern field of sustainability. Frei Otto saw as a given, that the earth has limited resources and humanity has almost unlimited needs. To efficiently solve the problem of shelter in a climate of constant shortages, Otto combined scientific experimentation with his fertile artistic imagination. Frei Otto’s true contribution to architecture and structural engineering has only been appreciated with the perspective of time.
His early interest in the natural environment; his sense of social responsibility; and his foresight of the needs of the future. These elements—combined with Frei Otto’s compelling presence—have made him one of the most important architects of the 20th Century—and one of those whose ideas are still resonating in our own time. This trailer was produced by Simon K. Chiu, in collaboration with writer Michael Paglia, editor Heather Dalton, and Joshua V. Hassel serving as director. Please click here or on the image to open the website. The Film is comming soon!

Project Finder

To start the Project Finder tutorial click here or on image.

To download the tutorial click WMF 65 MB or Quick Time 27 MB.

Formfinder Professional 4.0 (in elaboration)

The Formfinder Professional development team is working on the release of Formfinder Professional 4.0. We are happy to announce that also the integration of the Tennect Fitting will be available! Please click here see the movement 1.2 MB in MP4 Format.

TENNECT Vectors

TENNECT corner solution by Carl Stahl is now available with Force-Vectors.
For the Video click here or on the image (WMV 33 MB).



Carl Stahl released the new TENNECT for asymmetrical loads!

Please click on the image to start the "Wind and Snow" simulation video by Carl Stahl TENNECT.

Please find here to the pdf file or click here to see the VIDEO (WMV 1MB)

Formfinder 3 Power Net Technology

Over 80 % faster, stabile and now ready in Formfinder 3 "POWER NET TECHNOLOGY" - provides extensive modeling abilities for the most complex 3D shapes. The goal of this development was also the introduction of "Building Physics" which is already part of Formfinder Professional 3.0 package. Tools will provide exact numbers  about "on" and "under" membrane surface the exact temperature by sun exposure in real time! To download the short introduction on the new "Power Net Technology" please click here (10 MB ZIP File, 3,5 Minutes Windows Media wmv File) or click on the following image.

To give you maximal function range object uses flash.

Screenshots of Formfinder Professional

* Sun Shape Study Tool
* Rain Study Tool
* Analyse Tool for Cost Estimation by Horst Dürr
* Project Finder (online DATABASE)
* Image Finder (Version 3.0) 

Lightweight Membrane Structures Univ. Master Program 2016

The so called "top secrets" will be fully revealed with the world´s leading experts in "Membrane Architecture and Engineering".

For application or more information please click here or mail@formfinder.at

New: Membrane Project Finder

The world´s first Membrane Project Finder povides powerful knowledge of the Formfinder Development Group. The huge database on membrane buildings includes drawings, images and complete project descriptions to access the relevant design decision information.

The next step is to open the database also for Formfinder Light users and to integrate the 350 KG (yes, Kilogramm) data collected by Professor Vinzenz Sedlak of Sydney Australia. Thousands of slides have already been scanned in and are currently prepeared for publication.

We are proud to announce that the complete IF Group Horst Dürr Project Archive with slides is now also part of Project Finder.
Also new in Project Finder is the complete Stromeyer Jörg Wagner Project Archive with thousands of slides.

We already scanned and edited over 75.000 slides!

For more information please mail@formfinder.at.