I actually spent some money on AC3D, 3d software. Its the first 3d software I've had any success with. It was $90, and work even paid for it after I made a few models for them. I don't know how to translate the 3ds to a paper model though. But the ability to color the 3ds model is terrific in ac3d. basically if you have a photograph of your object, it doesn't even have to be squared off or anything, what you can do is take your wire skeleton, and see they points of intersection of the corners and drag those points to an exact point onto your 2d photograph. when you do this to enough points, the software will stretch and skew the overlay of the photograph over the 3d wire mesh, resulting in a really good rendering of your model with photo realism sides "painted" on.
The 3d software environment includes a quad view of your model, the x,y,z and a rotatable 3d view. I find it easiest to make a polygon side in one of the 3 planes, and then pull it out to make it 3d in another plane, and then in the 3d view rotate to the orientation I want and move it around.
I can get models with ridiculously little polygon counts, for example I can get a cylinder to be 2 for circles top and bottom, (this surprised me how many 3d software packages can even do this,) and then a series of rectangles for the volume. (the individual rectangles will be ignored for a paper model and considered one big rectangle.)
Well, if someone has a good way to convert 3ds models to be an unfolded model, then I'm all ears.