The head of the robot model I’m working on is a hemisphere squashed front to back so that it has an elliptical profile viewed from the top. I can easily make the shape using Blender the open source (free) 3D modeling software but how to make the shape into a net that I can then cut out? I’ve tried a few different things before but this time I thought I would try Pepakura. I use a Mac for most of my work and Pepakura is PC only so I’ve never tried it before but as I now have a Windows PC for the laser cutter I thought I would give it a go. I parted with my $38 and set about converting my Blender shape. As advised by Google I exported the shape in the Collada (.dae) format and transfered it to my PC via Dropbox

From there is was simply a case of opening to file in Pepakura, clicking the ‘Unfold’ button and saving the output file in a .dxf file format.

Back to my Mac and I opened the .dxf file in Illustrator and after a bit of tweeking, printed it out.

Simple! I think Pepakura could really come in handy!