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High peaks for high fliers

Project Briefs | December 1, 2014 | By:

Baytex designs and manufactures an award-winning big top.

A circus that features high-flying acrobats, daring trapeze artists and a “Mystifying Wheel of Death” needs a tent that generates as much excitement as the thrills within. Baytex Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand, delivered that excitement with a new tent for the Loritz Circus, which is currently touring Australia.

At 18.3 meters high and 32 meters in diameter, the tent features extra high peaks and striking graphics designed to attract circus goers wherever it is installed. The peaks create a large interior space to accommodate the circus’s high wire and trapeze acts and give the tent a feeling of grandeur that is highly visible to the public.

Designed entirely in 3-D to ensure quality and accuracy, the tent was as much a design exercise as it was a fabrication challenge. Using Ferrari 702 Big Top fabric, the tent features graphic elements cut from colored PVC and welded onto the surface of the
tent membrane.

The graphic elements were mapped onto the membrane surface in the 3-D modeling process before being flattened into 2-D patterns. The graphic pieces were then block welded to the surface of the membrane, with accuracy in the fabrication process being critical. This technique, while laborious, ensures the integrity of the graphics over the lifetime of the tent.

The project was awarded the 2014 Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) Supreme Award in June.

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