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Author Topic: Flattening 3D object  (Read 1832 times)

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Offline pedwards2932

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Flattening 3D object
« on: March 05, 2017, 10:32:37 AM »
I build model airplanes and am using Inkscape to trace and design plans.  I have a laser cutter and have been converting Inkscape to dxf files and this all works.  When I do fuselage design the side view can be a long curve and I put notches in it so the top piece will fit.  Since it is curved I need to be able to flatten the top piece so the notches end up in the proper place.  I have included a crude drawing to illustrate what I am talking about.  Is there and easy way to measure the exact length of the curve?

Offline brynn

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Re: Flattening 3D object
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 03:15:16 PM »
So you need the space between the convex notches in the top piece, to be equal to the space between the concave notches in the bottom piece?

Inkscape does have a measurement tool, but I don't think it can measure curves.  However, there's Extensions menu > Visualize Path > Measure Path.  It can measure a curved path.

Hhmm, unfortunately, I can't seem to get it to work.  I know it was working in version 0.91.  But now I have 0.92 and the text isn't showing up.

Well normally, what it does is make the measurement into a text object which is part of the document.  You can remove the text later, if you don't want it.

However, either one of those tools would be pretty clunky for what you want, because it would just be trial and error until you hit on the right length.  Probably a CAD program of some kind would work better.  With that, you can say 'make this path this long' (and I assume Enter), and the path is edited (as far as I understand).  I'm sure there must be a decent open source CAD program out there.

I'm curious though, if these are just design plans, do the illustrations need to be so precise?  I can see where you need that kind of precision to draw the parts that you're going to cut out.  Of course!  But I'm thinking the plans are basically the specs and instructions for assembly.  Or is that not the case?

While I'm waiting for you to reply, I'll look into this problem with the Measure Path extension.

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Offline pedwards2932

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Re: Flattening 3D object
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 07:46:29 PM »
I think the measure path will work.  It will give me the proper length and I can measure the distance between slots.  The other issue that comes into play is the fuselage will taper at the end which would shorten the length.  I can cut out the parts with the laser using chipboard and then modify as needed.  The plan drawings I make have to be perfect because the laser is really accurate.....the reason I use Inkscape is the original plans I am tracing are hand drawn and are not accurate enough for the laser.....they are fine if you are going to rough cut with a knife and then sand to fit.
If I can't get it to work in Inkscape I may have to use Sketch up.