Lectra (Marietta, Ga.) has introduced the DesignConcept TechTex, a software solution for industrial-fabrics-based product design and development. The software allows users to create virtual models, run feasibility analyses, develop templates and estimate costs. One of the reported benefits of this software is its automatic marker-making module, which estimates fabric consumption and related costs according to the customer’s business model. Other benefits include better control of development costs by shortening the prototyping phase, improving the rendered image and virtual simulation, and analyzing feasibility according to the characteristics of the fabric. Feasibility analyses, aimed at the best compromise of quality, price, and time-to-market, are guided by objective criteria including evaluation of the fabric’s tension and distortion, its resistance to constraints and material consumption. Manufacturers also now can enter their own materials and the characteristics of those materials into the DesignConcept TechTex library. Lectra recommends use of the VectorTechTex cutter range with the software to optimize shapes, their rotation constraints and interpiece margins. The package is compatible with the Windows Vista operating system.