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Triangulation (Extra module)

This module is an add on to PanelMaker. It uses connecting triangles to define the size and shape
of a panel. The size of each triangle is defined by the length of its 3 sides.
If triangles are drawn over a 3D shape and their sides measured, they can be entered into this
window to develop the corresponding panel required to cover that 3D shape.
An example would be a boat cover. You can think of the adjacent sides of the triangles as being
hinges that unfold to form a flat panel.

Select Triangulate from the Digitise menu:

Initially only a vertical line is displayed. To add triangles, repeatedly select Add from the Edit
menu. (or use Ctrl A on the keyboard for short)

Clicking the mouse near a corner of a triangle will highlight the right most sides of the triangle and
the side and diagonal dimensions can be entered for that triangle.

ProSail 1
This icon displays the Table window with the side and diagonal measurements for all
triangles. These can be changed and extra triangles added by simply entering more
This is a much quicker way to enter the data than using Add from the Edit menu.
It can also be useful to identify if any erroneous dimensions have been entered.
Note that the first line does not have a side measurement.

By default each triangle is flipped relative to the previous triangle. If you want 2 or more triangles
with the same “fanned” orientation, highlight the triangle and click on the fan check box:

The Table window identifies which triangles are fanned by displaying a –ve diagonal

ProSail 2
This icon displays the curved boundary of the panel. The small circles indicate that
this point is a cusp. To replace a cusp with a smooth curve (spline), simply click the
mouse near the circle. Clicking again will turn it back into a cusp.

Typically you will probably just want 4 cusps in the panel:

Below is an example of a panel with 2 cusps. Any number of cusps from 2 upwards is possible.

ProSail 3
This icon will take you back to the triangle display.

The information entered into the Triangulation window can be saved in the usual way using the
File menu. These BTC files are only for use with the Triangulation window and are separate from
the PLT files used in the nesting window.

Click this to add the panel (including splines) to the nesting window and leave
the Triangulation window.
If any of the dimensions are invalid (the sum of 2 sides of any triangle are less
than its 3rd side), the software will display a warning and highlight the
offending triangle.

When deciding where to position the triangles on the 3D object, you need to take into account the
direction of the diagonals that will best generate the shape. As a general rule this will be in the
direction that the fabric will be tensioned.
There is also a trade off between the number of triangles used and the accuracy. If in an ideal
world you were able to measure each triangle extremely accurately, then the greater the number of
triangles you used, the more accurate will be the resulting panel. However in reality there is a
limit to how accurate the measurements will be and since any error in these measurements can be
cumulative, it is better not to use too many triangles.

ProSail 4