Complex 3D objects to 2D profiles

After a lot of researching here is a free way to create a 2D cut profile from a 3d surface.

This method uses an Autodesk program called Meshmixer. It’s a free 3D mesh-based creation and manipulation tool designed for 3D printing. IT can open, alter and export STL files.


The process is as follows but fair warning, it is a bit involved.

  1. Export a body in Fusion 360 under Tools – Make – 3D print (Export as STL file and open in Meshmixer or check “send to 3D print utility” and choose Meshmixer)
  2. To remove the 3D printer box, click view and uncheck “Show printer bed”
  3. Orientate the part as horizontal or flat as possible
  4. Edit – “Generate face groups” to create face selections to unwrap
  5. Make sure the main object is not hidden (can unhide in the object browser window)
  6. Select the part in the object browser, Edit – “Unwrap”, and use the standard settings to create the flat pattens
  7. In the object browser, hide all the unwanted faces and parts so just the one flat pattern required remains
  8. Click file exported as SVG, and save the file
  9. Use an image editing program such as Illustrator to apply the correct laser cutting parameters to the paths and laser-cut as required


Here is a tutorial video of unwrapping in Meshmixer


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