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Old 11-12-2016, 09:59 PM
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mbauer mbauer is offline
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Which Program: Draw 3d, paint 3d. unfold?

Is there just one program that can draw a 3D model, Paint the model and then unfold for printing?

Use an old version of AutoCAD 2006 to do my drawings in 2D. Would like to use the 3D tools, but there is no way to unfold them once a model is drawn.

Decided to try something else, wondering what programs can do everything from start to finish....

Mike
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:15 PM
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Nope.
The unholy grail of paper model design has yet to be found.
Now let us see what everyone else has to say .......
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:56 PM
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Talk to Gary Pilsworth. I believe the program he uses does the design/paint/unroll thing.
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Old 11-13-2016, 12:22 PM
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The most capable appears to be Rhino. You can model and unroll, though I'm not sure in regards to coloring. Fairly high price point and learning curve. Next would probably be Sketchup. Modeling, and a plugin for unrolling, again I'm unsure as to coloring and I believe the full version is also several hundred dollars though the free version appears to be used by a number of people. Less steep learning curve, though. In free open source areas there is Blender for modeling and again a plugin for unfolding. Steep learning curve but no price point at all.

There are quite a few options if you want to model in one application, unfold in another (few options to do this really) and color in a third. It's the unfolding functions where your options are limited. Pepekura seems to be the most used. There are a lot of different modeling options out there, both commerical and open source, and most of them will save to *.obj format which can be imported into Pepekura for unfolding.

For the coloring it depends on whether you want to work in raster or vector formats. Again, there are a number of commercial solutions but open source provides GIMP for raster and Inkscape for vector. I think they rival the commercial competition but it really depends upon what you're comfortable with.

Much of it also comes down to how complex your model is going to be. Unfolding is the bottleneck. The more complex your model, the less likely you will be at using the simpler solutions. Sketchup, Blender and Pepekura all seem to have challenges with complex models. To me, it seems very easy to get seduced into believing that a detailed 3d model will make a great paper model. But it is very easy to make your 3d model too complex to unfold.

--jeff
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kugelfang View Post
The most capable appears to be Rhino. You can model and unroll, though I'm not sure in regards to coloring. Fairly high price point and learning curve. Next would probably be Sketchup. Modeling, and a plugin for unrolling, again I'm unsure as to coloring and I believe the full version is also several hundred dollars though the free version appears to be used by a number of people. Less steep learning curve, though. In free open source areas there is Blender for modeling and again a plugin for unfolding. Steep learning curve but no price point at all.

There are quite a few options if you want to model in one application, unfold in another (few options to do this really) and color in a third. It's the unfolding functions where your options are limited. Pepekura seems to be the most used. There are a lot of different modeling options out there, both commerical and open source, and most of them will save to *.obj format which can be imported into Pepekura for unfolding.

For the coloring it depends on whether you want to work in raster or vector formats. Again, there are a number of commercial solutions but open source provides GIMP for raster and Inkscape for vector. I think they rival the commercial competition but it really depends upon what you're comfortable with.

Much of it also comes down to how complex your model is going to be. Unfolding is the bottleneck. The more complex your model, the less likely you will be at using the simpler solutions. Sketchup, Blender and Pepekura all seem to have challenges with complex models. To me, it seems very easy to get seduced into believing that a detailed 3d model will make a great paper model. But it is very easy to make your 3d model too complex to unfold.

--jeff
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your reply!

You've nailed all the points into one post.

Rhino 3D v5 cost is $1000. It does do two of the three things needing done. Not very good at graphics. Aaron mentioned to me that Rhino 3d v4 has a couple of un-folding options. First was unroll for simple models and Smash for complicated ones.

Sketchup does sound like a viable option. I've tried using it, my AutoCAD skills, end up leaving me confused on what to do next. Can't find the tool I need to continue....

I am familiar with Blender, a version of it is used in my X-Plane simulator program for creating new airplanes to fly or modifying current designs. Have not used or found an un-folder for it.

I've tried using Pepukura to unfold ACAD 3D models. It will not un-fold them.

I do have Gimp and Inkscape, tried a couple of times to paint with them, will eventually learn if I have too...Have modified photos with these.

I did find a plugin that will un-fold AutoCAD models. Sent a request to the website below, explaining what the models are and if their "Sheet Metal" un-folder will work for my purposes. It lists at $99 or $350 for the full version to un-fold the complicated ones.

Here is their link; http://www.solid3dtech.com/autocad_link/default.html AutoCAD then will do 2-out of the three. Notice that this website has un-folders for other programs as well.

ACAD will also do certain "textures" for the graphics.

For graphics it looks like several programs available, guess that will be the last choice in my search, if nobody knows of a "do-all" program.

Not sure which direction to head, that is why I started this thread, to get input from others to see what they use!

Mike
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2016, 09:39 PM
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Dr. Zarkov and others - a discussion

Hi Mike,

This might help. Dr. Zarkov uses AutoCAD R14;

Card Modeling FAQ Appendix: Designing Paper Models

I use Rhino for anything that has to be built otherwise it's Modo...,

-Gil
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Old 11-13-2016, 10:21 PM
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Dr. Zarkov has significantly updated his work since then
see -
Emil Zarkov's Design Thread - ModelArt
SOFTWARE: SurfMaster v4.1 by Emil Zarkov :: ModelArt :: Paper Models :: ZarkovModels Store
http://cadbest.com/store/files/Surfm...UserManual.pdf
Don't know of any other designer using this software which also needs Corel for graphics.

Rhino and Surfmaster seem to be the only two programs using "traditional" geometry to unfold all possible developable surfaces.
Pepakura does it by flattening meshes and can get messy results.

Since TurboCad 15 Pro (needs to be upped to 15.2) development of complex conical sections and flat surfaces has been possible but they haven't improved that feature in later versions. It can also do a lot of it's own graphcis. Can also import/export to Pepakura for non-conical developable surfaces. It can legitimately be purchased cheaply second hand
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Old 11-13-2016, 10:39 PM
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I like Rhino 3D because it was easy to pick up after learning AutoCAD in school. I've tried other 3D programs, but I barely got past starting them up.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:32 AM
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I use Rhino 3D, but not for graphics. It's expensive but I won mine in an art contest.

I use illustrator to get the basic side view down, then import to rhino and build my model, then I manually unfold or unroll each part, make tabs, then export the lines back out for illustrator.

In many cases I will of some of the "graphics" in Rhino as simple lines, which act as guides for illustrator
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Old 11-14-2016, 11:35 AM
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@mbauer: as for Blender, you can try this unfolder: https://github.com/addam/Export-Pape...l-from-Blender
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