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something similar to UV mapping but not quite- and for a different reason


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Hello all

I have a question that i don't really know where to direct and i am fairly a beginner and just getting the hang of things. I understand UV mapping is intended to layout a 3d object flat to allow for texturing. I am also looking into converting a 3d object into a 2d object but not for the same purpose and I doubt it would use the same technology. lets say I have a 3d object that is solid ( with a thickness to it). Something curved liked the letter C and I want to flatten that C to a line (2d ) but still retain the thickness that was in the C shape so I end up with a line with variable amount of thickness that correspond to the original shape "dangling" from that line. I am not sure how to explain this better, but I hope you pros get it. In other words, I want to "unwind" a curved 3d shape to a linear shape whilst retaining its thickness. Essentially for the purpose of folding that shape back into the 3d shape physically after manufacturing that "linear" shape". 


I have attached a silly drawing that may or may not help my inquiry


Thanks guy and I would be grateful for any help.


get it.png

Edited by con2rol
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UV mapping doesn't actually flatten out your geometry. It just creates a 2D image of your geometry, projected on to a flat plane for the purpose of applying materials/textures.


You could try THIS method, but I'm not sure it's going to give you what you're after.


If you want to flatten your geometry for the purpose of production, there are other programs that will do this, like Inventor. Here's an Example.


Maybe someone else knows of a max script/plugin or some new feature for unfolding geometry that I'm not aware of?



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If I understand your question what you are asking for is called a development.  In the fabrication of ductwork "sheet metal development" is often encountered.  Do a google search and you will find many examples of how to create a specific 3D shape from flat sheet metal.  The result of sheet metal developments may be one or more pieces.  The 3ds Max modifier unwrap UVW does something similar but not the same.  It can be used to create a 2D unfolding of a 3D shape for the purpose of creating a texture map.   Some distortion might result and it is not accurate enough to use for the physical fabrication of a 3D shape.

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