There have been four major thrusts in plastic, zero pressure balloon design in the U.S. since the late 1940's. First, the pioneer balloonists made designs according to geometric shapes. When these balloons began to fail, a study at the University of Minnesota produced the first mathematical model for determining the proper design for ``natural shaped'' balloons. With the advent of high speed digital computing came the ``Sigma'' tables of the 1960's. When computers became more widespread and inexpensive, direct or ``full-sized'' designs began to be used. Now, with the problems involved in flying heavy payloads (greater than 400 lbs) and super pressure balloons, a new tool has become available to the balloon designer. An inexpensive stress analysis code is available but is as yet unproven.