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Help Unwrapping on Fusion/Meshmixer

#1
Hello,

I've been trying to lay out curved surfaces from a Fusion360 model using the Unwrap tool on meshmixer. I'm aiming to get flat, printable plans from a Fusion model.

The process (as I've gathered):
1. Model in Fusion
2. Export bodies to .stl
3. Open in Meshmixer
4. Unwrap and export as .svg
5. Open in Fusion/Inkscape and voila, flat plans

The problem:
- When I reopen the .svg file in Inkscape or Fusion, I find that somehow the scaling for the plan has been changed. I swapped from using inches to mm in Fusion, and that got the parts a LOT closer to what the actual size should be, but it is still slightly off.

Has anyone seen these issues before? Does anyone have a fix? I'm using the most recent versions of Fusion/Meshmixer/Inkscape.

Thanks in advance.
 
#2
Try increasing the export resolution in Fusion- and avoiding compound curves like the plague. I used to do something like this, but now I just design planes as meshes in Blender and export using the Paper Model plugin. Also, check your DPI scaling, Inkscape likes everything to be the same DPI. It could be a 96/92 thing.
 
#3
Hi,
Sorry to jump in but just spotted this.
If it helps,when I import adobe illustrator files into 360 I have read on many forums you need to scale by a factor of 1.333 and it worked for me as that is where I designed my wing.
Am a newb to meshmixer,am flattening out fuselage skins too.
Have constructed fuselage in 360 and the first time I tried MM on the second to front panel it worked.
Didn’t use inspector,unticked the multiple box everything hunky dory,exported it back to 360 ,fine
Since then used inspect, got the blue balls, attempted to fix automatically,but MM won,t even flatten these shapes out let alone allow me to export.
I will read the manual but are my curves just too twisty or gnarly for mm to cope ( most are just C sort of shapes)or is it something else.
Thanks for any help
 

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#4
Hi,
Sorry to jump in but just spotted this.
If it helps,when I import adobe illustrator files into 360 I have read on many forums you need to scale by a factor of 1.333 and it worked for me as that is where I designed my wing.
Am a newb to meshmixer,am flattening out fuselage skins too.
Have constructed fuselage in 360 and the first time I tried MM on the second to front panel it worked.
Didn’t use inspector,unticked the multiple box everything hunky dory,exported it back to 360 ,fine
Since then used inspect, got the blue balls, attempted to fix automatically,but MM won,t even flatten these shapes out let alone allow me to export.
I will read the manual but are my curves just too twisty or gnarly for mm to cope ( most are just C sort of shapes)or is it something else.
Thanks for any help
You can't have compound curves in a plane made from sheet materials (without real funky techniques.) "Unwrap" tools are designed to approximate these compund curves and stretch/compress the surface to compenate. Blender has a "Paper Model" plugin which will directly tell you if the shape can't be unfolded properly, either that or it will break apart the shape until it can be unfolded.
 
#5
Hi
Thanks for this,I’m beginning to like the sounds of blender.
Sounds like meshmixer is a potential nightmare,wish I’d checked this earlier.
This video seemed to suggest it would be a cakewalk


Still,given I had no cadcam experience 1 month ago I’ve learnt a lot!
So my questions about blender are
1.Is it capable of producing scale type fuselages from 3d view drawings with formers like the one I’ve done in 360?
Does it have the equivalent of the loft tool?
2will it allow me to import my nerdnic wing designs from adobe illustrator and “ blend” it with the fuselage?
3.Will it allow me create a “ parallel “ surface inside the outer one ,the thickness of the foam 5mm,so I can then somehow “extract” the formers that will fit inside the the fuselage pieces once I’ve bent them into shape?see photo 2
4.will it allow me to create the central keel from which the formers hang,and to which I glue the wing.again it’s 5mm less all round than the outer side elevation,see photo1
This keel has the vertical stab included so I know it’s vertical .Its like nerd Nic did on his Corsair
https://www.nerdnic.com/content/2200mm-nncorsair-build
The wing also goes on the keelso I know I’ve hopefully got the angle of attack correct.
Sorry for all this but that’s what I’ve been trying to do and I thought MM and 360 was the way
Thanks again
 

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#6
You don't have to do everything in Blender. Do all your modeling in Fusion, then export an STL and get that into Blender. But also look up what a compound curve is, just by the thumbnail of the video it's a shitty video with compound curves on the jet shown, and it suggests unwrapping it? Because that's pretty failure-ridden of a method. The thing with Blender is there's a way to do almost any task, but most of these ways are not straightforward. And you have to know a lot about how geometry works. You do have to enable the Paper Model plugin/add-on in Preferences though.

Edit: Looked at the video, couldn't bear to watch after seeing the fuselage is almost exclusively compound curves in the first few seconds. You can't do compound curves with DTFB, and even with bare foam it creates a very weak structure.
Tip: Don't use the Loft tool in Fusion for anything involving curved sheet materials unless you have lots of control over point correspondence, which Fusion typically doesn't give you.

I started in Fusion for modeling, and as I learned Blender, I shifted more toward just Blender for modeling. I still use Fusion for some design steps though, but keep in mind while you can export from Fusion to Blender, it's very difficult to go the other way in a useful manner.
 
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#7
A couple tricks for doing offsets in Blender:
1. Use the "Shrink/Fatten" tool, make sure you have the right selection before you do. Face selection uses face normals, which is often what you want, but you rarely want those faces you offset to be included in the paper model. Another point is that you always want to use the even-offset mode (press E within the tool).
2. Define as many seams as you can manually before hitting "Unfold." Look closely at generated seams too.
3. Make sure your scene is set to meters.
4. When you go to export the "paper model," be sure to set the lines all to solid, and don't use tabs or numbers, export a PDF, and set your size plenty big enough, at 1:1 scale.
5. There will be a ton of different settings available. All of them are well-documented in the Blender Manual. Take your time to read up on settings you plan to use.
 
#8
Hi
Thanks for all the advice,don’t forget until a month ago I had never used cadcam in my life,but am keen to learn.
Sounds like I’ve let myself in for it with this.
My original idea was to build warbirds from paper,plane plans.
I tried for ages to use paper model plans but when scaled up ,just too many errors for me
However those plans and John overstteets master series ones do rely on foam curling,I even did some myself with what looks like compound curves.
Didn’t,t realise it would be so difficult to take the 3d shape in 360 and uncurl though
Will have a go,might start a thread ,might have to ask for more help if that’s ok,be patient I do stupid things.
Thanks again for the advice.
 
#9
Hi
Thanks for all the advice,don’t forget until a month ago I had never used cadcam in my life,but am keen to learn.
Sounds like I’ve let myself in for it with this.
My original idea was to build warbirds from paper,plane plans.
I tried for ages to use paper model plans but when scaled up ,just too many errors for me
However those plans and John overstteets master series ones do rely on foam curling,I even did some myself with what looks like compound curves.
Didn’t,t realise it would be so difficult to take the 3d shape in 360 and uncurl though
Will have a go,might start a thread ,might have to ask for more help if that’s ok,be patient I do stupid things.
Thanks again for the advice.
No problem! And really if you’re designing planes, start out with simple designs, geometrically. My first was a profile plane, in fact.
 
#10
Hi sorry to bother you
Spotted this way of construction using sheet metal tool on an me262

Would this method Of construction mean the skin unwraps ok on meshmixer etc as it’s surface when finished is made up of a sort of mesh?
 
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#11
Also boilerscale uses this
Solidworks has a cool tool that allows you to take the face of a 3d model and flatten it into a surface model. It's the flatten tool, and from there, I export the newly flattened surface model into a dxf and open in autocad (inkcape works the same, I just use autocad since I have a student license anyways).

Here's an example using a duct piece:

At the bottom there's a slit running down the length of the piece, this simulates where you would glue it after molding.


Next you select the "Flatten" feature, it's located under the surface category of the "insert" tab. To use the flatten feature you just select the faces you want (highlighted in blue) and the vertex for where you want the unfolding to begin (which is why you make the slit in the model, it breaks the continuity of the part and allows for it to be unfolded).




And from there you are left with an unrolled version of the 3D part. Next you just have to right click the part and hit export to dwg/dxf (doesn't matter which since both autocad and inkscape use either). The great thing about this is the geometry will be exactly how you want it and you know exactly how it will fold up.
Claims it works?..
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#12
Also boilerscale uses this
Solidworks has a cool tool that allows you to take the face of a 3d model and flatten it into a surface model. It's the flatten tool, and from there, I export the newly flattened surface model into a dxf and open in autocad (inkcape works the same, I just use autocad since I have a student license anyways).

Here's an example using a duct piece:

At the bottom there's a slit running down the length of the piece, this simulates where you would glue it after molding.


Next you select the "Flatten" feature, it's located under the surface category of the "insert" tab. To use the flatten feature you just select the faces you want (highlighted in blue) and the vertex for where you want the unfolding to begin (which is why you make the slit in the model, it breaks the continuity of the part and allows for it to be unfolded).




And from there you are left with an unrolled version of the 3D part. Next you just have to right click the part and hit export to dwg/dxf (doesn't matter which since both autocad and inkscape use either). The great thing about this is the geometry will be exactly how you want it and you know exactly how it will fold up.
Claims it works?..
LikeReply
Report
It appears to do pretty much exactly what Blender does when used with Fusion 360. Convert to mesh, and flatten.