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MultipleWays

Complex Curve to 2D

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Anyone know how to flatten a complex curve into 2D shapes that preserve dims/area?  Example below.  Using the extract tool, I can pull a face from the 3D which results in a NURBS surface.  In 3D Power Pack, Unfold Surfaces only wants to work on a surface with a curve in one dimension.  Any tips on how to unfold a twisted surface?

 

 

 

 1846956428_ScreenShot2021-04-29at2_27_20PM.thumb.png.650a3eb33433c2ffda9eb35066367a5a.png

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@jeff prince  Not sure what you mean.  It's a NURBS surface.

 

If the surface (selected in the screenshot) was only curved on a single plane, 3D Power Pack > Unfold Surface would accomplish the task.  As the surface is curved on two planes, that command won't work. 

 

770242930_ScreenShot2021-04-30at10_35_46AM.thumb.png.7af5b1d96cf70e63cf302a4d772009aa.png

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@MultipleWays You clarified the issue yourself 🙂  You can't unfold a non developable surface in Vectorworks.

 

Since the geometry you have created curves in more than one direction, it can't be unrolled without the surface being stretched and compressed in various areas, which violates the rules of developable surfaces.

 

You might find the following Rhino video interesting and further explain the issue along with seeing some tools that kind of accomplish what you are asking to do.

 

 

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@jeff prince Very helpful - the video clearly explains the issue.  Thanks

 

I don't have Rhino.  I'm guessing VW doesn't have it, but do you know if Cinema4D has a "squish" like command as seen at 25:00?

 

 

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@MultipleWays glad it helped.  I don't use Cinema4D, so I don't know if you can accomplish it in there.

 

Just out of curiosity, why do you need to do this and how often?

There are some tools and methods for accomplishing this in Blender, which is free if you dedicate the time to it.

If you have to do this kind of thing a lot with complex surfaces, Rhino is probably the best bang for the buck.

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I agree with @jeff prince that Rhino is probably the best bang for the buck for complex surfaces.

 

Rhino combined with the Xnurbs plugin might be an ever better solution as it will generate such surfaces that are in multiple directions more easily than doing it manually. Though there are surfaces possible where you have to make manual corrections anyway.

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@jeff prince  A few times a year, designers will come with rough sketches which aren't always based in reality.  On the engineering side, I need to find a way to move the sketches into real world builds.  Breaking a complex curve down into some rough 2D shapes generally produces what we need to start working on a solution.

 

Rhino looks like a great option.  I did a little digging in C4D with no luck, but I'm not that versed with all the capabilities either.

 

Thanks!  @Art V 

 

 

 

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Just chiming in on the C4D side of it all - yes, you could flatten this out in Cinema very easily since you can manipulate points, edges or polys there.  However - it would not respect proportions and would distort the size/spacing of vertices making it not an accurate option.

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In this case I would probably cut the object into horizontal slices, since those look to be predictable rectangular slices, and work from that. Any approach is dependent upon how the end object is used (eg. how big is it, materials, etc.). For example it could be easily made with a few rectangle frames and four corner sweeps of steel rods welded together, then covered in stretch lycra. But that would be a scenic form not a structural form 🙂

 

Kevin

 

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