Creating A Plugin To Work With Sheet Metal C++/C#

Hello, I am a c++ dev by trade (I can do C# as well) and my hobbies are working with sheet metal. I would like to use rhino to design 3d objects (that are put together mostly using plate steel).

I want to be able to work with sheet metal in rhino but it seems there are no plugins that I know of that help with this so being a developer I am thinking “write one”

I dont want to do any bends or anything like that. I only want to chop the metal with a plasma (using something like unrollsrf) and then weld them together.

Does anyone know where I would start in doing this?

Thanks in advance for the help!

What exactly would you need code to do?

Well I want to work with sheet metal easier. Lets say I just want to draw a box using quarter inch plate. Because of this 1/4" difference, different sides of the box will be different sizes. I am new to rhino but so far this is not that easy to do.

I was thinking this is a great time to use my c++/c# skills to assist in handling flat plate type steel.

Have you worked with other applications that have native sheet metal design functionality?
I’m teaching Rhino at Design Academy Eindhoven in a project that focusses on sheet metal, though we work with 1mm aluminium sheet that can be simplified to unfolding the inner surfaces, in other words taking a bend factor of 0.
In case you work with thicker sheets and free bending tools, the bend factor needs to be calculated based on some tests. Since the bend factor will always be less than 0.5 you cannot simply take a mid surface.
But maybe for a first idea of your plugin you could start simple with 0.5 bend factor and thus work from mid surfaces of your design.
For the simplified sheet metal that we use at the academy I’ve made several videos that explain this method, maybe this helps.

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Sure, but it sounds like you should spend more time just getting familiar with Rhino on its own before devoting a bunch of time to programming.