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Flattening a compound curve sculpture

 
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Wes



Posts: 3
Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject: Flattening a compound curve sculpture Reply with quote

I need to create flattened patterns of compound curve surfaces that I can then CNC plasma or CNC laser cut blanks in sheetmetal. The blanks will then be hand shaped by adding stretch to the sheetmetal in the correct amount and in the correct places. I would need DXF files for cutting the sheetmetal. The four sheetmetal sides would be welded together to make the whole.

Here is an example.

This is a lofted surface made by two squares separated by 12". The top square is 6 inches and the bottom one is 12inches. Here are two views, as you can see the surfaces are lofted with a 90 degree rotation.

The question is can UV Layout create an ideal blank size that will allow me to add the required shape and then the four sides will fit together with a minimum of fitting. Can anybody on the forum create this shape as described and then email me a DXF file of the flattened blank? I only need the one surface, which I will cut four times. If this works I will definately purchase the software.

Thanks, Wes



12inchbase.jpg
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12inchbase.jpg



topview.jpg
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topview.jpg


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headus
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Posts: 2858
Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Location: Perth, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I built your shape in Maya, then subdivided that a few levels to define
actually what happens within the faces ... see below for a pic of the
final 3D shape.

This was then loaded into UVLayout, one side cut off, then flattened
out ... see below again for a pic of that. I cant save that out as DXF
currently because its just UV coordinates, not 2D geometry as such,
but maybe you can trace over that image to create your template?
In the long term, if that shape proves to be work, then I could add
a DXF output for the UVs I think.

Anyway, there's your template ... I'd be most curious to hear if it
works or not. The curved boundaries at first impression seem wrong,
but maybe the twist will pull them back to straight? UVLayout isnt really
designed for sheet metal applications, so the stretchyness that's allowable
with texture coordinates may not work for physical manufacture.

Phil



layout.jpg
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one side flattened out
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layout.jpg



subddiv.jpg
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the 3d shape
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subddiv.jpg



checker.jpg
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with the checker pattern
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checker.jpg




Last edited by headus on Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wes



Posts: 3
Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Flattening a compound curve sculpture Reply with quote

Hi Phil,

Thanks!! I'll trace your jpg. and then create a DXF from the tracing as you suggested.

This shape looks sort of simple but it really is a radical shape that needs quite a bit of edge stretching of the sheetmetal for it to fall into place.

I will CNC cut it out of .050" aluminum to see how it works out. The ideal will be to have the four panels fit together perfectly on their edges, after the same amount and location of stretch has been added to each panel.

If UV Layout could output a flattened DXF file that would be fantastic.

I will get back to you with pictures of the results.

Thanks again,

Wes
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Wes



Posts: 3
Joined: 25 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Flattening a compound curve sculpture Reply with quote

Hi Phil,

I traced your jpg. with Illustrator and exported the file as a DXF. I have yet to cut it out, maybe tonight, but it looks like it's very close to what I need. Last week I had manually developed a pattern using sliced paper and your pattern looks almost identical. Very Happy

Can you post a screen shot of the shape showing the red and white checkerboard pattern on it?

How long does it take to come up to speed using UV Layout? Looks like I will be ordering soon and I know a few more like minded folks that I will steer your way.

Do you think adding a DXF export option in UV Layout will be a done deal ?

Wes
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headus
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Posts: 2858
Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Location: Perth, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: Flattening a compound curve sculpture Reply with quote

Wes wrote:
...Can you post a screen shot of the shape showing the red and white checkerboard pattern on it?

See above.

Quote:
How long does it take to come up to speed using UV Layout?

Well, I think its pretty quick, but you dont have to take my word for it; grab the
beta version from uvlayout.com/try and test it out. One thing that UVLayout didnt
do that I had to do externally was the subdivide ... the shape you load into
UVLayout needs to have have the density of polys you see above to flatten
out properly. Actually I used my own code, but in another application, so I
could look at incorporating that as a new tool into UVLayout.

Quote:
Do you think adding a DXF export option in UV Layout will be a done deal ?

I've just added it to my list ... I'll try and get it into the next release!

Phil
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