When forming components using composite materials, manual lay-up techniques remain unrivalled, despite shortcomings that limit geometrical complexity. As a result efforts towards automation of the manufacturing process can be desirable. These can be through more automated builds, or via better informing the manual lay-up through simulation. Automation of more complex components is however difficult to achieve due to some technological barriers. Some progress in simulation tools to predict formable shapes has been made, but little in tools to predetermine the manual operations required. The work herein describes a concept to link component design and manufacture using an in-house simulation tool developed at the University of Bristol, UK, called Virtual Fabric Placement.