Planify a complex face

Hello everyone.

I just downloaded an x-wing model and wanted to produce a cutlist for it. But the faces are not coplanar, so I would need to fit them in plane one by one, which would be quite difficult.

Is there a way to flatten the shapes without loosing it’s actual size? I don’t want to stamp its projection in a plane, I want to open it so I can know what the form I need to produce will look like.

How do I do it?

It depends on how the model is created and what you actually want. A cutlist is much different than planifying a surface. If you want to unfold the model to use as a pattern for a folded paper model there are several different extensions that can help. Unwrap and Flatten might be a good choice. It’s available from the Extension Warehouse.

Thank, Dave. That was exactly what I was trying to do.

But out of curiosity:
How would you create the cutlist of a model like this?

My idea was to unwrap all the faces and generate a cutlist from them.

A cut list is a table of dimensions used for getting the overall dimensions of the parts. If you were thinking of building the thing in plywood for example you would need to create a component for each part with thickness. Then you can use a cut list extension (my favorite is Cut list 4.1 from the EW) to make the list.

Without having to unwrap them?

There are some irregular shapes. Does that plugin considers that?

You could convert the flat panels into components without unfolding the model. You need to correctly align the component axes so the bounding boxes of the components fit the panels. The cultist extensions just report the dimensions of the bounding boxes. For the curved surfaces you might make unfolded versions of you could torture the ply to the cuve when you build it.

Remember this is computer stuff. GIGO applies. What you get out of it is only as good as what you put in.


Thanks for the help, Dave!

the thing is, a cutlist for what ? paper ? wood ?

because if it’s paper, and you want to make a papermodel, I can help you. if it’s wood, then you’ll have to take thickness in account.

if it’s paper,
4 paths :

  • unfold by hand. it’s long and tedious, but you have control.
  • unwrap and flatten. it’s an extension, select faces, right click, and unwrap. it’s good for obvious elements that would just take time to do by hand, BUT it’ll give different results whenver you try. like… if you want to make a cube in paper, you have several ways to cut. the extension has the similar thinking
  • pepakura. it’s an external software, PC only, you import your file in it, and it’ll propose places to cut and unfold. you can adjust exactly where to cut, to unfold, where to put tabs, you can adjust the layout in pdf, with or without colours and materials. I’ve seen guys build stuff out of foam or metal using pepakura to unfold their models. BUT you need a clean model, like, your r2d2 will need a simpler remodel, or it’ll be hell to unfold.
  • Unfolder. same idea, on mac. I tried the beta, it was ok, but considering the paper art I do now, I do it by hand.