Unfolding and Flattening CNC Design Options

      Is there software out there for creating a design to be machined on a flat surface, then wrapped around a 3D shape? Here are some suggestions. January 27, 2008

I need to cut with CNC some skins for a half-cone shaped frame (skin in plastic laminate and veneer). Does anybody know a way to do this in AutoCAD, and not Inventor? I would like to build 3D solid models and then unfold or flatten to 2D skin, which I can then cut on CNC. I know there are some very expensive AutoCAD add-ons for sheet metal industry. I hope somebody can share some cheaper solutions.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor C:
Check into Solidworks with CAMWorks for the CNC. I think that Solidworks has a menu for sheet metal.

From contributor Z:
Alpha Cam is a very powerful program that can develop a surface to a flat part.

From contributor R:
autopol.com has an internet unfolder. They also sell an unfolding software for AutoCAD and MDT.

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