Frustrated by the wasted time and money preparing shade sail proposals only to learn you lost the bid to someone who did a better design?

When its hot outside and the phones are ringing off the hook, you spend your days driving from site to site to take measurements and discuss client requirements. Then, you spend more days and nights back in the office preparing 2 or 3 design options for each project proposal. Its easy to see how this cycle can lead to frustration.

MPanel offers a powerful new solution to the problem – we call it InSite, or Interactive Site Designer.

InSite frees you up to focus on “the design” rather than burning precious time learning and driving CAD software or wasting money paying someone else to do it for you.


MPanel InSite is a world first shade sail design suite giving anyone the ability to design sails in “real time”, on site, in “3D”, and all in minutes. MPI is an Interactive Site Designer – with a basic windows tablet or PC you can now design sails with your client and get the order there and then. No more spending hours in the office preparing multiple designs in the hope the client will like one of them. Now you can interact with the client in minutes to fine tune the design they like and win the business.

  • Integrated Solution – no CAD or super high-end math processor required – just about any basic windows computer or tablet will run the program.
  • Built in Import Tools – Import a pdf or jpg image background which shows the site that you need to design sails for – this could be from architect drawings, or a satellite or drone image of the site. A cropping tool allows you to focus on the area you want to work on and a scaling tool or grid gives you accurate results.
  • Any number of poles and any number of sails – after setting up the site background you simply add poles and sails where you need cover. You can freely move poles or change their heights to fine tune the design – the sails automatically stay connected to the poles.
  • Real-Time Shadows – turn shadows on and off and adjust for any day, time and place so you can show the client the sails not only look good but will actually do the job they’re intended to do.
  • Unique “Merge-Sail” tool allows you to build sails with any practical number of connections.
  • Comprehensive suite of pdf reports with a single button press. Reports include:
    • Visualisation – showing client an isometric view of the 3D model on site
    • General Layout – showing plan and elevations sketches with dimensions
    • Shadows – show the shadows cast at 4 different times on a single page
    • Post Setout – information installers need to locate the bored piers
    • Post lean angle –  information installers need to correctly arrange poles
    • Post lug angle –  information installers need to correctly align sail connections
    • Post lug details –  information steel fabricators need to correctly align sail connections

MPanel Insite Video Resources

Version change log

Version 7 2023-11-01
Add constrained pole to specified distance with optional orthogonal lock
FlexPoint can fixed or floating simplifies building complex or multiple joined sails
Pole library saves users preferred pole sizes and descriptions
New Footer library saves users preferred footer sizes and descriptions
Poles can now be circular (CHS) or square (SHS).
"Use this view in report" now includes current zoom selection
Layout dimensions now snap to base of pole or sail corner.
New post and footer report page.
Version 6 2022-10-26
New Library Model tool added allowing users to save common designs for rapid re-use
Library models once added to scene can be scaled and rotated to suit new site.
Most recent Library models shown in tool menu.
New project button option to preserve current project information
File open button includes list of most recent files used.
New "Select" tool added allows group selection of elements to apply property changes
Property grid now has range checking for dip-span ratios, Lat/Long values and library scaling factors.
Undo/Redo tool combined into one button.
Version 5 2021-11-10
New field added for site address (added to updated Visualization reports)
Move grid allows grid alignment to ground image reference
New opacity adjustment for sails and poles added to view settings
New site and projected area of selected sail/shade added to information properties
New "Fix Point" provides a floating shade sail connection point
New parametric arch shade added to Framed shade structures:
- Single Post cantilever arched shade for seating shelters or carparks
- Double post arched barrel vault large span shade structures
New Umbrella property to hide pole allowing user to draw a side pole in design
New shadow report pages with color background and shade outline or with fabric color and assigned opacity
New report Layout Detail template with sail/post layout, pole and sail numbers and a table of sail connection heights
Shadow report templates now include options for color background and sails
Version 4.0 2020-10-26
Version 4.1 Released April 2021:
Minor bug repairs.
Updated Visualization report template includes sail edge length.
Landscape Visualization report template added.

Addition of parametric framed shade structures:
- Rectangular Framed Shade Structures (a.k.a. hip and ridge)
- Polygon (multi-sided) Framed Shades
- Rectangular umbrella
- Standard (multi-sided) umbrella
New Report Generator replaces previous pdf reports
- New template pages including some Landscape pages
- New report fields for additional area information
Poles, umbrellas, framed shades can be located by x,y co-ordinates
Visualization report now includes ground plane and North arrow
Layout pages now include minimum canopy heights automatically
Program remembers size and position when using multiple displays.

Version 3.0 2019-09-25
Poles, sails, mark points, etc can now be renamed in the property window.
Sails connections to a wall can now be fixed edge or cable edge.
Sails can now be attached between two walls.
Sails can use a wall as a single point connection, like a pole.
Sails can be fixed in a wall corner by allowing fixed edges between different walls.
Sail colors can now be selected from supplied fabric manufacturers databases, showing the fabric type and color swatch image.
Ground images can now be created from a ground plan dxf file.
Sail properties now include information including sail area and perimeter.
Shadow time zones can now be set in 30 minute increments.
We can now export a sail (one at a time) to MPanel Shade Designer format.
We can now export the model to Sketchup (includes a Sketchup plugin to import the model)
Version 2.0 2018-09-30
• Powerful new high-res design user interface and output reports
• New more efficient ribbon toolbar
• New General Layout Report
• Add walls
• Sail center join
• Undo/Redo
• Snap to grid
• Speed pole - add multiple poles quickly
• Select and change multiple items with one command.
• View settings allows perspective view
• Set your own Visualisation Report view
• Set lighting conditions
Version 1.1 2016-01-01