flatten or unfolding 3d models

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metiz
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flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:29 pm

I made a fairly low poly 3d model of a mask. I want to build this thing in steel. I'm using google sketchup for the model but I can convert to any other 3d prog if necesairy.

How can I "Unwrap" this 3d model in a 2d, printable pattern? I've tried copying ALL polygons, aligning them on 2 axles and then printing them but I get a lot of tiny 2mm pieces wich are a pain to convert to steel one by one, let alone cut and weld AND track wich one goes where.

So in short, is there any prog that will do this automaically for me?
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by WebPilot » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:13 am

  • What have you tried?
  • How far have you gotten?
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:10 pm

Hey webpilot

I've looked around to see if I could find a solution. There's a "unfold" feature in Blender but I don't know if it works with models like this or how to even opperate it. There's a plugin for google sketchup but you have to pay for that and I still don't know how to work it. I've tried a program called "Pepakura designer" but if I import my sketchup model All I seem to get is a messed up triangle and a whole lot of mostly identical folded out parts that I know for sure are not part of my model. There are appearantly some more options in other 3d software but they all take to long to downl....ehr are to expensive to purchase. And just starting of with a 3d program is like jumping in to an f16 an expecting to know how to fly it.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:47 pm

Well it took me only 8 hours but I've managed to get the model flat...manually. This was a very low poly model so I'd still like it automated when things get a bit more complicated :)
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by Eric » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:06 pm

You are making a hell of a lot of work for yourself.

I'll have to find some pics of the armor I made, all you really need is a sheet metal shaping mallet high denisty plastic, some rubber hammers, and a leather sand bag, could even make one out of an old welding glove.

Some round dies, like a smoothed out trailer ball hitch, and a small anvil surface will help, with a ball peen hammer.

If you have a planishing hammer of course that will work well and make things stupidly quick.

Most masks and helmets work best splitting them in two down the middle, and forming a left and right half.

If you were trying to make a halo helmet out of cardboard, unfolding would be needed, but with metal you can beat it and stretch it into submission. Once you get the hang of it you could have made 3 or 4 of those by hand in the time it took you to unfold the design.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:28 am

You've got a home made armor? awesome! pics or it didn't happen :P I've got a metal plated gauntlet here - 30 odd pieces, full dexterity.

I spliced the mask in 2 since both halves are identical. The surfaces you see are from one half. I'd realy like to get into some more advanced metalworking but realy all the tools I have in any metalworking are a hammer, a big vice and some pipes.
Where can I get the tools you're suggesting?

I don't intend in making all those seems in steel. The idea was that I would make a 3d model for dimensions and stuff and then get the pieces and use them as folding guide lines. I know that I would't be able to get all the bends in.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by Eric » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:38 pm

Yep, probably will be easier for me to go get it from my friends and take more pics than to find the pics on my drives..

Power surge wiped out one computer, then windows decided to change the login password on the other, had to hack into it, but now it seems that a good portion of the files were encrypted and inaccessible

Somewhere on the forum I've got some pics of the knives, swords, and a few sheilds I did back in the day.

Slowly working on a stainless / composite master chief type suit, its going to have a full steel exoskeletal sub structure to the armor shell.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4592&hilit=dagger
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by Eric » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:20 pm

Teardrop HDPE mallets, great for metal forming:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=98132

Just need a sand bag, and lay your metal sheet on the sand bag, and pound away with the mallet, blunt side to flatten or lightly curve, pointy side for sharp curves or dents.

Maybe get a big synthetic farm feed grain bag, actually a few of them, fill one up with sand, then put it inside the other bags, dont completely fill it, want it to be able to be shaped to hold what you need. Maybe 75% full. Then after its all bagged, cover it in some heavy leather.


Then you need some steel hammers, ball peen hammers preferably, if you cant get a small anvil, get a piece of scrap heavy duty i-beam from a scrap yard, and drill a hole in it to mount a trailer ball hitch, http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=31220

which will be very useful for smoothing curves out, and forming tight curved edges. The flat of the I beam will act like an anvil. Make sure to smooth out the flat spot on the ball hitch, and maybe get a few different sizes so you can form different radii curves easily.

A planishing hammer, like this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=94847

Makes real quick work out of forming curves, and smoothing metal. But its only good if you have a massive compressor to power it, if not, you will be completely frustrated with how slow it is, as you will run for a few seconds then start to lose power.


Another thing that would be useful is some 3/8" - 1/2" plate, that you can grind the edges with an angle grinder, so that you can form tight bends, maybe have one side form curves, while the other one is ground to a sharp V for making sharp bends, or grinding transitions from curves to a V.

for about $40 you should be able to get all the hand tools and scrap materials you need to really do nice work.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by Eric » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:28 pm

Here's some unfinished stainless spine armor I had laying around.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by tufty » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:46 pm

metiz wrote:This was a very low poly model so I'd still like it automated when things get a bit more complicated :)
"Optimum" unfolding is a hard problem to solve. I did quite a lot of work on generic unfolding stuff when I was doing kite design, and even with a good number of assumptions as to where cuts could be made, "high poly" models are a bastard to unfold nicely. Hell, even "low poly" models are tough.

Use a hammer.

Otherwise, you might get somewhere with this, I guess : http://l3d.cs.colorado.edu/~ctg/project ... aGami.html

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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:27 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the help!

Eric, got the rest of that armor laying around somewhere to? :wink:
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:27 pm

Got the face part of the mask pretty much done. It still needs to be finished up, looks like hell now with all the .5 weld disasters everywhere. The horns are a real pain. I've got to redesign the middle part. There's no way I can make those out of steel. I've been hammering on the same pice for almost an hour and no signs of getting it to fit. Still, getting pretty excited
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Sun May 02, 2010 6:17 pm

This is the mask so far. the horns took me 5 days of trying. Eventually made them out of 26 faces per horn. Not shown are the teeth thhat need to go on next. 24 with at least 2 faces per tooth. fun times. A lot of this mask is made from .5mm ss. the reason for this was easy construction. I forgot I had to weld the pieces to. nightmare. does anyone know of any solder techniques I can use to cover up the nasty parts?
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:19 pm

I've been busy with some other stuff but the rough construction on the mask is done. next is tidying things up and putting on some body filler before I can spray paint it.
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Re: flatten or unfolding 3d models

Post by metiz » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:06 pm

body filler fase. I sanded the front like you see in the picture. I'll sand the inside tomorrow and fix some spots here and there and then I can start spraying primer
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